Paul E. Almeida
On February 1, 2001, Paul E. Almeida was elected President of the Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO by acclamation of the DPE General Board to fill the remainder of an unexpired term. He was then re-elected at the DPE General Board meetings in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.
Prior to DPE, Almeida was President of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), AFL-CIO & CLC. He was first elected to this national union position in 1994 and re-elected 1997 and 2000.
During the last four years of his tenure as IFPTE president, the union was the fastest growing organization in the AFL-CIO increasing in size from 23,000 to over 40,000–a 75% increase in membership. As president in 1999, Almeida helped facilitate the affiliation of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace that brought 10,000 new members to IFPTE with a potential for many more. In 2000 he was one of the leaders of the longest strike, lasting nearly six weeks, by Boeing engineers. This job action was one of the largest strikes by professional workers in the nation’s history.
Almeida received his degree in engineering from Franklin Institute of Boston and was employed by Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston from 1971 – 1994. During that time, he worked as a Senior Electrical Designer, and was IFPTE’s Local 105 Divisional President until 1994.
As a local and national union leader, Almeida has been involved in all aspects of representational work, including chairing private sector negotiating committees and as labor’s panel member on a tripartite, interest-based arbitration panel that mediated contract disputes affecting public sector unions in the State of Connecticut.
Almeida currently serves on several policy committees of the AFL-CIO, including: Vice Chair of the immigration committee; and member of the education and training; legislative/public policy; international affairs; organizing; strategic approaches; and women workers committee. Almeida is a board member of the Albert Shanker Institute, the Labor Advisory Board of American Income Life, past board member of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning, and past member of the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy to the U.S. Trade Representative.
Assistant to the President/Research Director
Jennifer Dorning joined DPE in August 2010. At DPE, Jennifer assists the DPE president with the development and management of DPE activities and projects related to organizing, affiliate collaboration, and outreach to the public. Jennifer is also responsible for researching and writing numerous DPE reports and publications related to organizing professionals, quantifying the professional workforce and union members, and the attitudes of professionals toward unions.
Jennifer was a co-author/editor of the ALA-APA “Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit.” Her work has been published in The Chemist, Journal of the American Institute of Chemists.
Prior to joining DPE, Jennifer worked for two years as an attorney in private practice. She managed the motion practice for a law firm that represented clients in state civil commitment proceedings as well as clients facing federal criminal prosecution.
Jennifer worked in the Oregon State Legislature as a legislative assistant for State Senator Ginny Burdick from 2001 to 2005. Jennifer managed Senator Burdick’s legislative agenda, which included numerous gun safety proposals, workplace protections for women, and pedestrian safety. Jennifer helped win passage of legislation that increased pedestrian safety and enhanced protections for crime victims.
Jennifer graduated cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington in 2008 and passed the Oregon bar exam that year. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon in 2000.
Legislative and Outreach Director
Michael Wasser joined DPE in August 2016. At DPE, Michael is responsible for conducting outreach to labor and non-labor organizations, representing DPE before Congress on issues important to professional and technical workers, and working with affiliate unions to identify and advance issues important to professional and technical workers.
Prior to joining DPE, Michael worked for six years at Jobs With Justice (and, previous to its merger, American Rights at Work), serving most recently as senior policy analyst. Michael produced original research and led the organization’s federal policy strategy, monitoring developments related to the workplace and serving as the primary liaison to congressional offices and federal agencies.
Michael has been quoted in or written for a number of media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Hill, Huffington Post, and NPR. He also has been published in the Nevada Law Journal.
Michael is a graduate of the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University, with a bachelor’s degree in labor studies and employment relations and a master’s degree in human resources and employment relations. Michael is an adjunct professor of labor and employment relations at Penn State and is a member of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.
Research and Communications Associate
Katie Barrows joined DPE in November 2016. At DPE, Katie is responsible for assisting with research for DPE publications, coordinating and responding to media inquiries, and administering DPE’s social media accounts.
Prior to joining DPE, Katie served as communications coordinator for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), where she worked with journalists on stories related to student and faculty rights violations on college campuses.
Katie has also worked as a congressional outreach and research assistant for LegiStorm and as a field organizer for Jay Inslee’s 2012 campaign for governor in Washington state.
Katie graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a degree in political science in 2012.