Eileen Kirlin is an Executive Vice President and leads the Public Services Division for the 2 million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Since 1994, Kirlin has led SEIU’s work to unite public employees into the union to raise standards on the job and improve the quality of services in their communities. Under Kirlin’s leadership, more than a million public employees joined SEIU by 2008 as a result of innovative campaigns that have helped workers—the majority of whom are women—change their lives.
Kirlin headed SEIU’s pioneering work to bring 83,000 family child care providers with the union, which has helped raise the quality of child care, stabilized the child care workforce and expanded access for working families. Working side by side with advocates, SEIU providers have made child care more affordable for more families and expanded access to nutritious meals.
In another breakthrough victory, Kirlin led the effort to unite more than 55,000 North Carolina state employees into SEIU. The State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) joined SEIU in 2008 marking the largest union victory ever for working people across the South. It was especially significant in North Carolina which previously had the lowest rate of unionization in the country.
Prior to joining SEIU's leadership, Kirlin was a leader in the Communications Workers of America where she helped to lead a successful campaign that brought 35,000 New Jersey state employees into the union. She began her career as a social worker in Philadelphia; working for the welfare department where she rose from a rank-and-file union member to become Treasurer of SEIU Local 668.