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The information below pertains to Summer Session 2015. If you would like to be notified when Summer Session 2016 course information is available, please sign up for e-mail updates.

Strategic Corporate Research

June 14-19, 2015

The following information pertains to the last time this program was offered. If you would like to be notified via e-mail when new information is available, please subscribe to the Summer Session announcement list.


Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner is the director of labor education research and a senior lecturer at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). She is also an associate of ILR's Worker Institute. She received her PhD in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1993. Bronfenbrenner's primary research and teaching interests focus on union and employer behavior in organizing, bargaining, and contract administration, strategic corporate research and comprehensive cross-border campaigns, and the impact of global trade and investment policy on workers, wages, and unions.

Julie Farb Blain

Julie Farb Blain is director of the Center for Strategic Research at the AFL-CIO. She leads a team of strategic researchers and campaigners in support of affiliate unions' organizing initiatives. Previously, she worked as a union researcher developing and executing strategic approaches for organizing and contract campaigns. She has taught the craft of strategic research and campaign planning to students, workers, and union staff, both in the classroom and in the field, and has mentored and trained many union researchers on the job. She has an M.A. in urban planning from the University of Washington.

Aaron Brenner

Aaron Brenner is a senior capital markets analyst at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. He does research and organizing for the UFCW's capital stewardship department. His work includes comprehensive organizing campaigns, shareholder activism, retirement security, and financial advising to locals. Prior to UFCW, he was a union researcher, freelance financial analyst, professor, and journalist. He is on the board of Homeland Stores, an employee-owned, 80-store unionized grocery chain in Oklahoma and Texas. He holds a Ph.D. in labor history from Columbia University.

Chad Gray

Chad Gray is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Global Workers' Rights in the Labor and Employment Relations School at Penn State. He received his PhD from Cornell's ILR School in 2014, where his dissertation focused on transnational organizing and bargaining campaigns in Latin America. He has worked on labor research projects for the Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER), the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), the ILR Office of Labor Education Research, and the Service Employees' International Union (SEIU). Before studying at Cornell, Chad worked as an organizer for the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) from 2002 to 2005.

Job placement

Program instructors are committed to assisting graduates of the program in finding strategic corporate research positions within the labor movement. In the first thirteen years of the program we have been able to place more than 350 students in top research positions in the AFL-CIO, CTW, UNITE HERE, SEIU, USW, LIUNA, IBT, UFW, UFCW, AFT, AFSCME, ATU, NNU, NYSNA, and other unions across the United States and around the world. The majority of those we place in research positions have taken the course for credit.