CWA President Christopher M. Shelton
Christopher Shelton was elected president of the Communications Workers of America by acclamation by delegates to the union’s 75th convention on June 8, 2015.
Prior to his election as president, Shelton served as vice president of CWA District 1, representing 160,000 members in more than 300 CWA locals in New Jersey, New York and New England.
He served as the Verizon Regional Bargaining Chair in 2000 and 2003, and overall Chair of Verizon bargaining for CWA District 1, District 2-13, IBEW New Jersey and New England in 2008 and 2011. He also chaired negotiations in New Jersey for 40,000 State Workers in 2008 and 2011.
Shelton started his union career when he went to work for New York Telephone in 1968 as an outside technician. He was elected a CWA Local 1101 shop steward in 1968 and served Local 1101 in various positions until December 1988 when he joined the CWA national staff.
He is a native of the Bronx, N.Y.
Sara Steffens was elected secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America by delegates to the union’s 75th convention on June 8, 2015.
As CWA secretary-treasurer, Steffens is responsible for overseeing the union’s operating budget, investments and membership funds, facilities and other operations. She also is charged with ensuring full fiscal and legal compliance by the International union and locals with all government, financial and regulatory requirements.
Before her election to CWA’s second highest ranking office, she served as secretary-treasurer of The NewsGuild-CWA, the CWA affiliate representing journalists and other media workers.
A native of Minnesota, Steffens earned a journalism degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. and beginning in 1999 worked as a reporter for nine years at the Contra Costa (California) Times. There, she successfully led her co-workers at the Times and its sister newspapers in the Bay Area News Group to organize and join the Northern California Media Workers Guild, now known as Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521.
Steffens was among a group of union activists fired two weeks after the vote, but she continued to work with The NewsGuild and CWA, ultimately bargaining a first contract for workers at the newspaper group.
Steffens and her family live in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
CWA's Executive Board governs the union between conventions. It includes the President and Secretary-Treasurer, and vice presidents for seven geographic districts, six industry sectors, the Canadian director and four at-large members.
District 1, New York, NY
District 2-13, Philadelphia, PA
District 3, Atlanta, GA
District 4, Cleveland, OH
Claude Cummings, Jr.
District 6, Austin, TX
District 7, Denver, CO
District 9, Sacramento, CA
Sector Vice-Presidents and Canadian Director
Telecommunications & Technologies
Public, Health Care and Education Workers
IUE-CWA Industrial Division
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Director, CWA-SCA Canada
AFA-CWA Local 29012