We are Brookings United.

We are a union of non-supervisory staff at The Brookings Institution and we represent workers from research and non-research departments and nearly every occupation. We are proud to work at Brookings and we know that a union is the best way to centralize staff’s voice and bargain for changes that will make Brookings an even better place to work.

Our shared values.

We realize our strength as contributors to the Brookings Institution—experts, researchers, and support staff—stems from our common mission of providing independent, high-quality research. We fundamentally believe our union is aligned with Brookings’s values and will make our institution stronger by:

  • Improving the terms of employment for staff in ways that will promote workplace diversity and inclusion so we can effectively represent and speak to the nation and world we research
  • Ensuring that Brookings is competitive among peer institutions and can attract top talent
  • Expanding work opportunities for staff so Brookings can cultivate leaders who will be able to fully support our important work addressing urgent policy problems

Representing staff at one of the largest and most reputable think tanks in the world, Brookings United is ready to set a new industry standard where we all have an equitable share in the decision making process. We are ready to build a more fair workplace—together.

Brookings knows the value of unions and so do we.

We are proud to work at an organization that has consistently published independent research demonstrating the value of unions—in growing the middle class, fighting racial inequality, and protecting frontline workers. And we are proud to call ourselves colleagues to brilliant individuals who have recently joined the pro-union administration of President Biden. Brookings is an intellectual home for policy ideas that empower working people, and we know that living our values by forming a union will only strengthen our scholarship.


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Partnering with our nonprofit peers.

Brookings United is affiliated with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). NPEU was founded in 1998 and today represents more than 500 members at nearly 40 nonprofits in DC and around the country. NPEU exclusively represents staff at nonprofit organizations—and their members’ contracts are tailored to the unique needs of their organizations.

NPEU represents staff at organizations such as The Center for American Progress, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

NPEU is a union local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE). IFPTE is a bottom-up, employee-based organization that gives professional and technical employees the collective power to raise wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Forming a union is our right.

Forming a union is a fundamental right for every worker in America. We have built an inclusive and thoughtful process for Brookings staff to come together and exercise that right. We call on the Brookings Institution to swiftly and voluntarily recognize our union and to not take any action to infringe on the choice we made together to form a union.

President Biden framed this choice clearly:

“The choice to join a union is up to the workers—full stop. There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences. Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union.”

—President Joseph R. Biden