Ai-jen Poo is an award-winning activist and social innovator, and a leading voice in domestic workers’ rights and family care advocacy. She is Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (one of the partner organizations of the Women’s March on Washington) and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations Campaign. Poo has been organizing immigrant women workers for over two decades, forging pathways to sustainable quality jobs for the caregiving workforce and working to ensure access to affordable care for the nation’s aging populations.
She recently completed her term as the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where she taught an undergraduate course and a graduate course on social movements. As co-founder of Domestic Workers United, she led a seven-year legislative campaign that resulted in the nation’s first Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York City. Poo was also instrumental in the Department of Labor’s recent decision to include caregivers for the elderly and disabled in federal minimum wage and overtime protections.
Poo’s numerous accolades include recognition as a 2014 MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow, as well as: Fortune.com’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders (2015), NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 (2015 and 2016), World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2013), Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World (2012), and Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women (2012). She serves on the Board of Directors of Momsrising, National Jobs with Justice, and Working America.
She has written for publications including The Nation, The Huffington Post, Time, Glamour, and The Washington Post. Her 2015 book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in Changing America, outlines a road map for how we can become a more caring nation, providing solutions for fixing our fraying safety net while also increasing opportunities for women, immigrants, and the unemployed in our workforce.