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All Professionals

Martin J. Walsh

Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association; 29th U.S. Secretary of Labor


Marty Walsh has spent his life fighting for working people, as a labor leader, as a public official and as a private citizen. The son of Irish immigrants, Marty was born and raised in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.

He started out by following in his father’s footsteps as a union construction worker, rising to become president of Laborers Local 223 in Boston and eventually head of the Greater Boston Building Trades Council, representing roughly 35,000 blue-collar workers on major construction projects across the region.

In 1997, at the age of 29, Marty won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he spent 16 years fighting for workers’ rights and good jobs. A champion for civil rights, he took a courageous early stand for marriage equality, supported communities of color, immigrants, seniors, veterans and he served as a State House leader on substance abuse treatment and recovery support. In 2013, he was elected Mayor of Boston, an office he served in for seven years. He led Boston through a period of historic success, growing the city’s economy, reducing crime, investing in schools and libraries, and ending chronic homelessness among veterans in the city. His groundbreaking policies included the nation’s first municipal Office of Recovery Services, paid parental leave for city employees, climate action and flood protection strategies, universal pre-kindergarten and free community college for low-income students.

In January 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Marty to serve as the United States’ 29th Secretary of Labor. After taking office during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marty worked to support both laid-off and frontline workers. He subsequently leveraged the President’s historic economic recovery to strengthen worker power and improve job quality. During his two years in office, Marty brought high-quality job training programs to millions of Americans, strengthened mental health support and access to treatment, and ushered in a historic surge in worker organizing.

In February 2023, Marty was appointed as the Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, returning to his roots as a labor leader where he can continue to champion the importance of workers’ rights and the shared benefits of collective bargaining for all. Marty is someone who never forgets where he came from. A survivor of Burkitt’s Lymphoma as a child, he has fought to expand access to healthcare for all. Embracing recovery from alcoholism as a young man, he has always believed in compassion and second chances. Grateful for the role that unions played in helping his immigrant family join the middle class, he co-founded pre-apprenticeship programs that have become national models in helping people of color, women and justice-involved individuals enjoy successful construction careers as union members.

He is a graduate of Boston College and shares his life with his long-time partner, Lorrie Higgins.