On January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama designated Wilma B. Liebman, a member of the National Labor Relations Board, as Chairman of the NLRB.
Chairman Liebman has served on the board since November 14, 1997. First appointed by President Clinton, she is now serving her third term, which will expire on August 27, 2011.
Before joining the board, Chairman Liebman served from 1994 to 1997 at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, first as special assistant to the director and then as deputy director. She began her legal career as an NLRB staff attorney in 1974, then served on the legal staff of two labor unions: the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1980-1989) and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen (1990-1993).
A native of Philadelphia, Chairman Liebman holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law Center.
Several unions announced their support of Liebman to head NLRB. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, representing 100,000 workers, issued a statement calling Liebman “a progressive lawyer” who has “fought hard against the labor board's Republican majority in their drive to weaken unions and rob workers of their right to organize.”
"In nominating Wilma Liebman President Obama has already done more for American workers in one week than George Bush did in eight years," said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a statement: “America’s working men and women will finally have the fair and committed leader they deserve with Wilma Liebman as chair of the National Labor Relations Board. What a refreshing change it will be to have a labor board that aims to safeguard rather than blockade workers’ rights. Liebman will work to help the NLRB serve one of its key missions–to undergird all workers’ right to collective bargaining as a cornerstone of our economy and democracy.”