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Joseph A. McCartin, Ph.D., Executive Director

Joseph A. McCartin is a historian of the U.S. labor movement and 20th century U.S. social and political history. He is a Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he has taught since 1999. His research focuses on the intersection of labor organization, politics, and public policy. His first book, Labor’s Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, won the 1999 Philip Taft Labor History Book Award. His new book, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America, examines the origins and implications of the 1981 PATCO strike of air traffic controllers. It won the Richard A. Lester Award for the Outstanding Book on Industrial Relations and Labor Economics published in 2011. His current research explores the impact of public sector labor organization on politics, government, and private sector labor relations. He is a member of the steering committee of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, the editorial committee of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, and the board of Interfaith Worker Justice.

Denise Brennan, Ph.D., Faculty Fellow

Denise Brennan is an anthropologist who writes about migration, trafficking into forced labor, and women’s labor. She is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Georgetown University. She is the author of What’s Love Got to Do with It? Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic (Duke University Press) and just completed a book on the resettlement of trafficked persons in the United States, Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States (Duke University Press ). She is currently conducting field research for a book on how families cope with detention and deportation, Shattered Families: Detention, Deportation and the Assault on Immigrants in the United States. She has been a board member of Different Avenues, Project Hope International, and HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive), organizations located in Washington, DC, that work to protect and empower sex workers.

Nick Wertsch, Program Coordinator

Nick Wertsch is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in Government and minored in English. While at Georgetown, he was an active member of the After School Kids Program, Prison Outreach, and Alternative Spring Break. During his senior year, Nick took a leave of absence to work as a field organizer on the Obama campaign in his home state of Missouri. After graduating, he moved to India to work with an Indian NGO providing media and legal advocacy on land rights issues. Later Nick returned on a Fulbright-Nehru Research grant to study energy politics and democracy in India. He has also interned at the White House and worked at SmartPower, a nonprofit marketing group that promotes clean energy.

Vail Kohnert-Yount, Program Manager

Vail Kohnert-Yount is a native Texan and a 2013 graduate of Georgetown University, where she majored in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a certificate in Justice and Peace Studies. At Georgetown, she served as the student body vice president and was a leader in the Georgetown Democrats, the Georgetown Solidarity Committee, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the Center for Social Justice. She previously interned at the White House, the AFL-CIO, and the U.S. House of Representatives.