The Center for Labor and a Just Economy (CLJE) is excited to announce that Michelle Miller, leading expert in labor organizing, policy, and media, is joining our team this month as the Center’s first Director of Innovation. A pioneer in research on the impacts of digital surveillance and technology on working people, she will be joining CLJE to lead research, strategy and programming on the ways in which emerging technologies affect the experience of work.
“I am so honored to have Michelle Miller join CLJE as our first-ever Director of Innovation. Through her scholarship and work at Coworker.org, Michelle has been at the forefront of strategizing how workers can meet the challenges and opportunities posed by technology,” says Executive Director Sharon Block. “Few people in the labor movement and worker organizing have done more to change how we think about building worker power than Michelle.”
Miller is the co-founder of Coworker.org, which she led as co-executive director for 10 years. The organization has supported employees of large corporations such as Starbucks, REI, Uber, and Google in efforts to win protections like paid leave, wage increases, and scheduling flexibility. Prior to Coworker, she worked with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) leading cultural organizing programs. In 2015, she co-hosted the first White House Town Hall on Worker Voice with President Obama.
Miller is no stranger to the Harvard community or to the Center. She is currently a Visiting Social Innovator at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Innovation and Change Initiative, and has previously worked alongside CLJE. “When I was co-director of Coworker, CLJE was a critical partner for applying the lessons workers were learning in their organizing efforts to innovative labor policy,” says Miller. “Now that I am joining the Center, I am eager to focus my efforts on addressing the impact of various workplace and communications technologies, like algorithmic software and artificial intelligence, on workers’ ability to organize and build power. The labor movement has the potential to profoundly impact the development of these technologies and ensure that they provide benefit, not harm, to all people in the future.”
“The stakes for working people have never been greater – with growing inequality, decreasing unionization rates, the introduction of AI into more and more workplaces and threats to our democracy that make it less responsive to the interests of working people,” says Block. “We are so lucky to have Michelle on Team CLJE to help lead our work to respond to those challenges.”
Miller holds a bachelor’s degree from American University. Based in New York, she has held fellowships with Echoing Green, Ashoka, the JM Kaplan Fund, the Institute for the Future, and Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, and sits on the boards of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and Arts and Democracy.