Melinda Person is the President of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the nearly 700,000 member union representing people who work in, or are retired from, New York’s schools, colleges and health care facilities. As a dedicated union leader, she is committed to creating equitable classrooms where both students and educators thrive.
Person has spent more than two decades advancing education policy. She began her career student teaching in a 6th grade Boston Public Schools classroom. Prior to joining the NYSUT team in 2006, Melinda worked for the New York State Assembly and the New York State Division of Budget negotiating and advising on education and budget policy matters.
In her 16 years at NYSUT, Person has made strides to advance NYSUT’s fight for public school educators and their students. As NYSUT’s Executive and Political Director, Person revolutionized the union’s member engagement by spearheading NYSUT’s Member Action Center, which regularly activates more than 100,000 members to advocate for union priorities. She also oversaw the creation of NYSUT’s Member Organizing Institute and Regional Political Organizer program to help bring members’ demands directly to their elected representatives.
Her unwavering commitment to each member’s voice in their community led Person to develop the NYSUT Pipeline Project, a member-candidate program that trains NYSUT members to run for office. Since the program's inception in 2015, the NYSUT Pipeline Project has trained and supported more than 200 NYSUT members in their campaigns for school board, local and state-level offices.
She is a graduate of Cornell University, including the Cornell Union Leadership Institute, with dual degrees in Policy Analysis and Management. As a graduate student at Cornell, Person participated in an effort to organize her fellow Cornell graduate students with the UAW. She also holds a NYS teaching certificate in Elementary and Childhood Education.
Person and her wife Kelly are kept busy by their children (Tommy, Andrew, Jude, and Lindy). She is a proud Ironman triathlete and teaches yoga in her free time.