August 2, 2011
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Appointment of Michelle Ringuette
WASHINGTON—Michelle Ringuette will join the American Federation of Teachers as assistant to the president for strategic initiatives, AFT President Randi Weingarten announced today. She will join a strong AFT team, and will work closely with all departments to implement a strategy to promote the rightful role, function, funding and importance of public education and public services in the knowledge economy.
Ringuette comes to the AFT with a wealth of experience after spending nearly five years at SEIU—the last two as director of strategic affairs. She was a member of SEIU’s senior leadership team, and played a key role in the 2008 presidential election, the Obama healthcare debate and the ongoing legislative fights in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and several other states. She also was involved in the financial reform debate, where she focused on a legislative agenda that sought to rein in the excesses of the financial services industry, and give voice and relief to hard-working families who were harmed by that industry’s abusive practices. Ringuette also has worked on public education reform and the overhaul of teacher evaluation and development programs.
“Michelle has vast political and communication experience, a keen strategic view of the challenges educators face, and a passion for providing all children a high-quality education. She will bring instant value-added to our work to promote a quality agenda for public education, and will help us beat back efforts to demean educators and defund public education,” Weingarten said.
As assistant to the president for strategic initiatives, Ringuette will help coordinate the integration of communication, political, legislative, educational mobilization, organizing and research functions of the AFT.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.