LaToya Egwuekwe-Smith was appointed Communications Representative on January 1, 2016. Egwuekwe-Smith is assigned to the Midwest Territory office in Joliet, IL.
Egwuekwe-Smith initiated into the IAM in 2008 as a Communications Representative at IAM Headquarters. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she has nearly 15 years’ experience in communications and journalism.
Prior to joining the labor movement, Egwuekwe-Smith worked as a political television news reporter/anchor for The Florida Channel in Tallahassee, FL, and as a television news producer for WEWS-TV in Cleveland, OH.
She is the creator of “The Decline: The Geography of a Recession” – an animated map that shows the progression of U.S. unemployment from January 2007 to February 2011. Her work has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, BoingBoing and hundreds of blogs, local newspapers and television outlets around the world.
Egwuekwe-Smith is the founder of Hire Ground, a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on helping the long-term unemployed get back to work. She served as a board member for the Union of Unemployed (UCubed), a nonprofit organization born under the helm of the IAM. She is a former Vice President of the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) Executive Council. Egwuekwe-Smith was also a 2014 Fellow of the Washington, DC chapter of a growing group of next generation progressive leaders known as the New Leaders Council.
Egwuekwe-Smith is a graduate of the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications in Hampton, Virginia, with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. She has a Master of Arts in Interactive Journalism from American University in Washington, DC.