Leo G. Gerard

Advisory Board Member

Photo of Leo G. Gerard

Leo Gerard is the International President of United Steel Workers.

Since assuming his role in 2001, Gerard has focused the USW on strategic contract bargaining while fighting unfair trade and building clout through political action and international alliances. The USW has grown in the United States and Canada under Gerard’s leadership through both strategic mergers and organizing. In 2005, the USW merged with the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE). With the PACE merger, the USW officially became the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union.

To build bargaining strength, Gerard led the creation of worldwide networks of labor unions at multinational companies that employ USW members. One of his signature achievements was establishing an alliance with Unite the Union, the largest labor union in Great Britain and Ireland. That partnership resulted in the formation of the first trans-Atlantic union, Workers Uniting, which counts 3.4 million active and retired workers as members. In 2012, Gerard participated in the historic founding convention of IndustriALL Global Union, a federation that includes more than 50 million workers in 140 countries in all sectors of the economy. A co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA), the now 11-year-old labor environmental partnership, Gerard also serves on the boards of the Campaign for America’s Future, the Economic Policy Institute and the Elderly Housing Development & Operations Corp., as well as serving as a member of the labor advisory board at Wayne State University in Detroit. He also chairs the advisory board of the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Gerard studied economics and political science at Laurentian University, where he later received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He has also been awarded honorary degrees from Brock University and the University of Guelph in Canada.