Stuart Appelbaum

President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

Stuart Appelbaum holds decades of experience advocating for the rights of workers around the world. He was elected to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Board of Directors in February 2022.

Since 1998, Mr. Appelbaum has served as president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents 100,000 workers in retail, food processing, and warehouse jobs nationwide. He also serves as an executive vice-president of the 1.3-million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Appelbaum is a vice-president of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, and a member of the federation’s Executive Council, where he co-chairs the federation’s Executive Council Committee on International Affairs.

As a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Appelbaum has served on the DNC’s Executive Committee and co-chaired the DNC’s Resolutions Committee. Currently, he is Chair of the DNC Labor Council and member of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Appelbaum is the president of the Jewish Labor Committee and member of the Executive Council of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

He is an officer of two global union federations, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco, and Allied Workers’ Associations and Union Network International. As President of UNI Global Commerce, Appelbaum represents 160 unions and four million workers around the world.

Appelbaum graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University, where he was named a Louis Dembitz Brandeis Scholar and elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, he became a member of the bar of the State of Connecticut. Appelbaum resides in New York City with his husband, Michihito Osawa.