Leadership Fellow

Erik Peterson

Leadership development

Erik Peterson brings nearly 35 years of experience as a labour, community and electoral organizer to his role as Wellstone Action’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. Wellstone Action is the largest and leading movement building institute in the United States. 

Erik has helped build and lead several labor-community coalitions and has served at all levels of campaign organizing in state and local races, most recently working on Minnesota United for All Families (2012), Lead Consultant for the Australian Labor Party, Tasmania (2011), MN GOTV Consultant (2010; 2008; 2006; 2004). He has recruited dozens of candidates and has managed or served as General Consultant for three gubernatorial races and over two dozen legislative, mayoral, city council, school board and county commissioner races.  

He brings to his electoral work two decades of experience working with unions, progressive advocacy non-profits, and labor-community coalitions around strategic planning and messaging; leading organizational change that supports deep member-driven organizing and leadership development; curriculum design and training; and developing strategic, grassroots issue campaigns. He has worked with some of the largest unions and organizing networks in the United States as well as doing extensive work in Australia.  

Erik also serves as professor in the University of Minnesota's Masters Program in Advocacy and Political Leadership, and was a professor in American Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota for 18 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. 

Erik lives and works out of a century farm in Esko, MN.