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Jeffrey David Cox

Cox in 2014

Jeffrey David Cox (born March 9, 1951) is the National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), AFL-CIO.



Jeffrey David Cox Sr. was elected National President at American Federation of Government Employees' 39th National Convention in Las Vegas in 2012.[1][2] He was elected to a second term at the 40th National AFGE Convention in 2015.

Early careerEdit

Cox began his career in healthcare in 1970. In 1983, Cox became a registered nurse and started a public-sector career with the Department of Veterans Affairs that lasted until September 2006 when he became AFGE secretary-treasurer[3] Cox served two consecutive terms as AFGE’s National Secretary-Treasurer (elected first in August 2006 and reelected by acclamation in August 2009). [4]

Cox was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Federal Salary Council and the Federal Prevailing Wage Council. He is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Vice President of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, serving in the latter position since 1993. Cox was unanimously elected chairman of the Executive Committee of the Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO. He also chairs the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council, which seeks to help veterans with employment opportunities through the VA and in the building trades. Cox is best known for threatening then Seceratary of VA in 2016 Bob McDonald with personal violence after McDonald outlined measures to stem corruption at VA. In a public speech, Cox claimed, "I’m prepared to work with (Secretary) Bob McDonald. But I am also prepared to whoop (Secretary) Bob McDonald’s ass." No charges were brought.

Personal lifeEdit

Cox was born in 1951. He attended A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis, North Carolina until 1969, before receiving his nursing degree at Gardner–Webb University. Cox grew up in a “very anti-union” community before moving to downtown Silver Spring.[5] Cox married his high school sweetheart Georgia Cox, on May 24, 1980.

Cox is a United Methodist.


In 2012, Cox won the Yitzhak Rabin Public Service Award from the American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center. In 2013, Cox was honored with the AFL-CIO’s At the River I Stand award, which is given annually to a national leader who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to civil rights and workers’ rights. That year he was also honored by the Rev. Jesse Jackson with the Martin Luther King Labor Leader award. In 2014 he received the National Action Network Labor Award from the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Peggy Browning Award for Social Justice Advocacy from the Peggy Browning Foundation[6]