J. Philippe Abraham is secretary-treasurer of New York State United Teachers, overseeing the union’s Member Benefits and Accounting Departments, as well as NYSUT’s social justice efforts.
Elected to NYSUT’s leadership ranks as first vice president in April 2017, Abraham is NYSUT’s first higher education member to serve as a statewide officer. He came to NYSUT after serving for six years as the elected statewide vice president for professionals of United University Professions, NYSUT’s largest higher education affiliate representing faculty and staff at the State University of New York.
In July 2016, Abraham was elected as an at-large representative for higher education on the National Education Association’s Board of Directors. In October 2017, he was elected a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Abraham, on leave from the University at Albany, was twice elected to UUP’s Executive Board. He chaired and co-chaired several statewide UUP committees, including Legal Defense, Affirmative Action and the Committee on Latino Affairs. He also served as a member of the UUP Negotiations Team and chief negotiator.
On the UUP chapter level, Abraham was one of three elected senators representing UAlbany on SUNY’s Faculty Senate. He was elected to three terms as the chapter vice president for professionals. He is president of the Albany/Capital District Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, LCLAA.
Abraham earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Education and a Master of Arts in Spanish American Literature, both from UAlbany. He is a graduate of the NYSUT Leadership Institute, the New York State AFL-CIO Cornell Union Leadership Institute and NEA’s Emerging Leader Academy.
Abraham began his career teaching Spanish and French in middle school, high school and college, and then became an academic advisor at UAlbany; most recently he held a position as the university's Director of Career Services.
Born and raised in Haiti, Abraham is of Haitian and Dominican ancestry. He is fluent in French, Spanish and Haitian Creole, as well as English.