Henry, Mary Kay

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Henry, Mary Kay

Mary Kay Henry, 1958–, American labor leader, b. Detroit, B.A. Michigan State Univ., 1979. She began working with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in 1979, focusing on union organizing and collective bargaining in the health-care industry. In 1993 she became director of the union's health-care division and two years later she was elected to the SEIU executive board. She became the union's main health-care strategist in 2004; she also was elected an SEIU executive vice president that year. When the union's controversial president Andrew L. Stern stepped down in 2010, Henry was elected to succeed him, becoming the first woman to head the union. A founding member of the union's gay and lesbian caucus, she also is active in the gay-rights movement.

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