Beloved NFFE President Richard N. Brown Passes Away at Age 47

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Contact: Randy Erwin, Legislative Director

Phone: (202) 257-0948


"It is with great sadness and regret that I confirm the passing of NFFE’s beloved national president, Richard N. Brown, who was found unresponsive in his apartment in Arlington, VA yesterday afternoon.  To all who knew him, Rick was a strong leader, a dedicated trade unionist, and a friend.


As national president of NFFE, Rick steered the organization out of a tumultuous period in the 1990s, and into prosperity.  The union saddled with debt when he took office as national president, Rick orchestrated NFFE’s affiliation with the Machinists Union (IAMAW), and reorganized internally to get the organization’s books in the black, setting the course for renewed prosperity.  In recent years, NFFE was seeing the fruits of that prosperity.  The union’s membership has been on the rise and the organization has been realizing success in the policy arena. 


Rick was a trade unionist at heart.  He came from a union family and maintained membership in NFFE-IAM and the Laborers Union, the latter being a membership he maintained after leaving construction to become a machinist.  Rick was a strong advocate for federal employees.  Never one to back down, Rick was a strong presence in the fight against several federal workforce initiatives aimed at contracting out federal government jobs and eliminating federal employees’ unions.  His most impressive work was done in opposition to NSPS.  Just last week, Rick gave impassioned testimony in opposition to NSPS before the Task Group of the Defense Business Board, a panel that is conducting a review of the personnel system.


On a personal note, Rick was a great friend.  He was fiercely loyal and supportive to those around him.  He was also tremendously fun to be around, always ready with a joke or an amusing story.  In his passing, we have lost a strong voice and champion for working men and women.  We will mourn his loss greatly."


-Bill Dougan, National Secretary-Treasurer


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