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Mary Beth Maxwell

Mary Beth MaxwellExecutive Director

Mary Beth Maxwell is the founding Executive Director of American Rights at Work, a national advocacy organization launched in 2003 to advance workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain.  In its brief history, she has led the organization in exposing unionbusting in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, monitoring decisions of the National Labor Relations Board, and informing the policy debate on workers’ freedom to form unions through original research studies.  Maxwell is the author of the organization’s inaugural report, Some of Them Are Brave: The Unfulfilled Promise of American Labor Law.  In all her work, she strives to place workers’ rights more squarely on the progressive political agenda.

Maxwell brings more than 15 years of political strategy, field organizing and management experience to her current position. She previously served as National Field Director for Jobs with Justice, where she significantly contributed to the organization’s growth into a grassroots network of 43 local coalitions and organizing committees supporting workers’ rights across the country.  At Jobs with Justice, she engaged new allies, mobilized support and built relationships with multiple stakeholders to broaden and strengthen the cause of worker and economic justice.

Prior to Jobs with Justice, she was Deputy Field Director for NARAL, directing the pro-choice organization’s electoral, legislative, media and fundraising training programs for local affiliates.  She also served as Field Director for the United States Student Association where she designed field programs to organize students in targeted congressional districts to impact higher education policy, and managed a direct action training program, which mobilized thousands of students.

Throughout her professional career, Maxwell has developed a rare acumen for building broad, sustainable coalitions among sectors within the progressive community in support of workers’ rights and other political issues. Her activist calling began during her undergraduate years when she became deeply involved in women’s rights, racial justice and anti-apartheid issues and campaigns. She earned a BA in English, philosophy and political science from Marquette University.  She currently sits on the Board of Directors of Partnership for Working Families and the Discount Foundation.