Leanne Kunze

Picture of Leanne Kunze holding a microphone at a rally.
Executive Director

Leanne Kunze was selected by the AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) Executive Board to serve as the union’s executive director in January of 2020. As WFSE’s head of operations, she leads a dedicated team of more than 100 staff who support 46,000 public service workers across Washington State. 

She is the fifth executive director and the first woman to hold the position.

Kunze brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job, both as a member activist and staff leader. Before becoming the union’s executive director, she served as WFSE’s deputy executive director and oversaw several departments. 

Originally from Minnesota, Kunze became active in her union while witnessing injustices in the criminal justice field. She worked as a detention deputy, a licensed peace officer, and a child protection specialist investigating child abuse and neglect.

After serving in various leadership roles with her local and council, Kunze began working in AFSCME’s national field department, where she led campaigns and assisted several councils and affiliates with their organizing programs.

Since joining WFSE, Kunze was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP) and the Public Employee Benefits Board. She has prioritized both internal and external organizing, helping to usher in thousands of new union members, many of whom were previously unrepresented. She negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement between assistant attorneys general and the State of Washington, and she has led union operations through the uncharted territory of a national pandemic.