Senior Fellow

Netsy Firestein is a senior fellow at American Progress and a consultant on work and family, child care, women, and labor issues. Formerly the founder and director of the Labor Project for Working Families, Firestein led the coalition that passed the nation’s first paid family leave law in California in 2002, which covers almost every worker in the state. Subsequently, she worked to build awareness and expand the new law. Firestein also co-founded Family Values @ Work, a network of 24 states working to build a movement for family friendly workplace policies, such as family leave insurance and paid sick days.

In 2015, Firestein was honored by the White House and then-President Barack Obama as a “Champion of Change” for working families. She now works with unions and grassroots organizations to expand early child care and learning. Firestein consults with the Open Society Foundations and is a senior fellow at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at University of California, Berkeley.