|Jeff grew up in suburban central NJ and attended MIT where he graduated with a bachelors degree in political science. He came to Philadelphia in 1990 to work on a masters degree in political science at the University of Pennsylvania and then in 1995 enrolled at the University of Maryland to for a PhD program in US history. While at Maryland, he got involved in campus activism and helped to form the organizing committee of Graduates, Adjuncts and Lecturers Organized Labor, the union for the graduate assistants at UMD.He returned to Philadelphia in 2001 to organize graduate assistants at U Penn. While working on the campaign, he published his dissertation, A Nation of Realtors: A Cultural History of the American Middle Class with Duke University Press.
Meanwhile, he had his eye on a scrappy group of purple-shirted janitors raising hell all over town. He began attending their rallies regularly and soon decided that he would like to work for this organization: SEIU Local 36. Fortunately, at about this moment, Local 36 was looking for an organizing director. He had requisite experience and was willing to work cheap, so they hired him and has been there for over four years.
Jeff is married to Pamela Barnett, an administrator and faculty member at Temple University. They live in Queen Village.