President Biden has announced his intent to nominate Colleen Duffy Kiko to serve as a Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA). Member Kiko has served as
Member of the FLRA since December 2017. She was the Chairman from 2017 until January 2021.
Some readers may wonder why President Biden would be appointing as an FLRA member a person appointed to be Chairman of the FLRA under a Republican administration. The FLRA is a quasi-judicial body with three full-time members appointed for five-year terms by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. As an independent federal government agency overseeing the government’s internal labor relations program, the FLRA works as a neutral third party. It is required to include members of both political parties.
Colleen Kiko is well qualified for the nomination. Many practitioners know of her from her previous positions, including General Counsel of the FLRA.
Ms. Kiko is an example of how a smart federal employee who works hard within the federal system can advance into increasingly higher-level positions. She moved to the Washington, DC area from a small town in North Dakota. She began her career with the federal government in an entry-level general schedule position for the FLRA’s predecessor agency, the Labor Management Services Administration in the Department of Labor (DOL).
When the FLRA started in January 1979, she worked in the Washington Regional Office investigating unfair labor practices. Along the way, she went to law school and moved to positions within the headquarters of the FLRA. From 2005 to 2008, she was nominated as FLRA General Counsel by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
As noted in the FLRA press release, she has also served in several other legal positions during her career. She holds a law degree from Antonin Scalia Law School and a B.S. from North Dakota State University.