All in Interviews

Interviewed by Gwen M. Tobert Bernice Friedlander is currently the President of Chapter 282 of the National Treasury Employees Union, representing employees at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She began her career in Washington on Capitol Hill in 1965, and over the next seventeen years held a variety of positions including Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and Press Secretary. In between her stints on the Hill, Ms. Friedlander worked as a lobbyist for Action on Smoking and Health, advocating for the 1970 Cigarette Labeling Act, and for the Autism Society of America, conducting autism education and research. In 1974, she ran for Congress in the New Jersey Democratic Primary, but lost. She went on to join the Executive Branch of the federal government, becoming Director of Public Affairs for the Women’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor from 1987-1994. She then became acting Director of the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs and was appointed by President Clinton as the U.S. Delegate to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Commissions on Consumer Issues and Credit Issues. In 1998, she joined the President’s Food Safety Initiative at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a policy analyst, promoting the “Farm to Table” program. Ms. Friedlander holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.