Wendy Fields joined the Democracy Initiative/Democracy Initiative Education Fund as Executive Director following extensive experience working in broad-based coalitions. Prior to beginning at the Democracy Initiative/Democracy Initiative Education Fund, Wendy was the Vice President of Strategic Campaigns and Partnerships at Common Cause for two years, where she focused on linking economic inequity and racial equity to the democracy agenda.
Earlier in her career, Wendy spent 17 years at United Automobile Workers (UAW) in Detroit, Michigan, where she served as both Executive Administrative Assistant and then Chief of Staff to UAW President Bob King. The first woman to hold the highest non-elected position, Wendy’s role included formulating policies on organizing, collective bargaining in the auto sector, and political action.
Working alongside President King, Wendy had in-depth exposure to King’s leadership of unionized Ford Motor Company employees during the auto industry’s downturn. Wendy was also involved in UAW’s work around national negotiations at Ford and challenging collective bargaining agreements in the environment of industry restructuring. In addition, Wendy led the National Organizing Department, where she developed UAW’s strategic organizing program and coordinated regional activities that resulted in over 40,000 new members and oversaw training.
Wendy’s time at UAW began when she joined UAW Local 376 after organizing with co-workers at the Northeast Citizen Action Resource Center and the Legislative Education and Action Program, where she developed a mentoring program for organizers of color and led initiatives related to coalition activities, racial equity work, and electing candidates of color in the northeast.
In 1987, Wendy worked at the New England Healthcare Workers Union District 1199 as a community activist, where she also co-chaired the African-American/Latino Coalition of New London.