Linda Chavez-Thompson was elected as executive vice president of the AFL-CIO at the federation’s 1995 convention and served in this position for twelve years, until September of 2007. She was the first person to hold the post of executive vice president and the first person of color to be elected to one of the federation's three highest offices. She now holds the title of executive vice president emerita.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, Chavez-Thompson is a second-generation American of Mexican descent. Upon her retirement, she celebrated 40 years of experience in the labor movement, beginning in 1967 with her first work for the Laborers' local union in Lubbock. She went on to serve in a variety of posts with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in San Antonio, Texas, and became an international vice president in 1988, a post she held until 1996. She also served from 1986 to 1996 as a national vice president of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFL-CIO. In 1993, Chavez-Thompson was elected and served a two-year term as one of 31 vice presidents on the Executive Council of the national AFL-CIO.
As executive vice president emerita of the federation, Chavez-Thompson will continue work on behalf of the AFL-CIO as Chair of the AFL-CIO Immigration Committee and as a member of the board of the American Association for People with Disabilities. She will continue to serve as a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and as the president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, which is the Western Hemispheric arm of the International Trade Union Confederation.