Clayola Brown began serving as President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, located in Washington, D.C., in August 2004 -- the first female to serve in that role.
Ms. Brown’s lifelong commitment to labor activism began in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, where she—alongside her activist mother—campaigned to organize the Manhattan Shirt Factory. She eventually became Education Director for the newly merged Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union; was appointed Civil Rights Director and served as Manager for the Laundry Division affiliate for more than 13 years. In 1991, under UNITE! She was elected International Vice President and continues to serve in that capacity and as Civil Rights Director under the repositioned union Workers United.
In 1995, she was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, where she served for 10 years as a Vice President.
Ms. Brown’s tremendous commitment to her community and her fellow man is apparent through the many boards and organizations on which she currently serves, including America’s Agenda: Healthcare for All, the National Board of the NAACP (including chairing both the NAACP Image Awards Committee and co-chairing the Labor Ad-Hoc Committee). She is a member of the United Nations Advisory Council, the Louis and Irene Simon Scholarship Fund, Executive Committee for the Workers
Defense League, the Board of Governors for the United Way of the Tri-State, Board of Directors of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference/Women, Inc, and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.
Ms. Brown was appointed to the National Commission on Employment Policy by President Bill Clinton, and appointed a member of the New York State Workforce Investment Board by Governor George Pataki.
A graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, Ms. Brown has done post-graduate work at American University in Washington, D.C., Queens College and York University in New York City and is a lecturer at Cornell University. She consults regularly with Trinity College in Washington, D.C. on African American affairs.