Keynote Presentation: Higher Education Under the Biden-Harris Administration

Panelists Bios

Montserrat Garibay, Senior Advisor for Labor Relations to the Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Education. Prior to her tenure with the Biden Administration, Ms. Garibay was the Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. Previously, she served as vice president for Education Austin, a merged union local affiliated with AFT, NEA, and the AFL-CIO. An activist on education and immigration issues, Ms. Garibay came to the U.S. from Mexico City as an undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. She promoted passage of the Texas version of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. A bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years and National Board-Certified Teacher, she is a graduate of the National Labor Leadership Initiative with the Worker Institute at Cornell University. Garibay is a University of Texas-Austin graduate with a master’s degree in Education.

Kathleen Mulligan, Ph.D., Director of the National Labor Leadership Initiative. Kathleen Mulligan is the Co-Director of the National Labor Leadership Initiative and on the staff of the Worker Institute. She has worked in the labor movement for 20 years, since founding and co-chairing a groundbreaking campaign in Milwaukee to change how the city subsidized urban redevelopment. That coalition innovated new strategies to create more union construction jobs and build more powerful relationships between community and labor partners. She served as Deputy Director of the Partnership for Working Families, supporting coalitions in 25 cities to win similar campaigns, and developing research and policy tools to help those campaigns succeed. As Deputy Director for the AFL-CIO’s GOLD Team (Governance, Organization & Leadership Development) she helped state federations and central labor councils build shared campaigns with community partners. Kathleen is a master facilitator. She teaches yoga and practices yoga and meditation, and brings the lessons of those practices into efforts to strengthen the labor movement and build power for working people. She has a deep commitment to lifting up racial justice and building more equitable organizations and movements. She has a PhD in Political Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison.