National President, American Federation of Government Employees
Jeffrey David Cox Sr. is National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, which is the largest union representing federal and D.C. government employees. Cox was elected president in August 2012, at AFGE’s 39th National Convention in Las Vegas. He was re-elected to another three-year term in August 2015, at AGE’s 40th National Convention.
As National President, Cox has invested heavily in growing union membership both within AFGE and among the labor movement as a whole. AFGE has boosted its membership by more than 90,000 employees since Cox first was elected to national office in 2006.
In October 2015, AFGE topped 300,000 active members for the first time in modern history – a remarkable feat in the face of hiring freezes, budget cuts, and continual attacks on the pay and benefits of government workers.
Under Cox’s leadership, AFGE has developed a strategic plan to chart the union’s direction for the next decade. The plan, called Big Enough to Win, is organized around four key strategies: Organizing and Growth, Legislative Mobilization, Political Strength, and Creating Strong Effective Locals.
As a nationally recognized labor leader, Cox was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Federal Salary Council and the Federal Prevailing Wage Council. He is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Vice President of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, serving in the latter position since 1993. Cox was unanimously elected chairman of the Executive Committee of the Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO. He also chairs the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council, which seeks to help veterans with employment opportunities through the Department of Veterans Affairs and in the building trades.
Cox is the proud recipient of numerous awards honoring his commitment to the labor movement. In 2012, he received the Yitzhak Rabin Public Service Award from the American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center. In 2013, he was honored with the AFL-CIO’s At the River I Stand award, which is given annually to a national leader who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to civil rights and workers’ rights. That year he was also honored with the Martin Luther King Jr./Jesse L. Jackson Labor Leader Award from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. In 2014 he received the National Action Network Labor Award as well as the Peggy Browning Fund’s Peggy Browning Award for Social Justice Advocacy.
Cox began his career in healthcare in 1970. In 1983, he became a registered nurse and started a public-sector career with the VA that lasted until September 2006, when he became AFGE secretary-treasurer.
A native of North Carolina, Cox is a graduate of North Carolina’s Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and a former member of its board of trustees. He also attended Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.