(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employee’s, today, announced that after 35 years of exemplary service, including 27 years as General Counsel, Mark Roth AFGE’s General Counsel will be retiring. General Counsel Roth steps down as the longest serving union General Counsel in the current labor movement and the longest serving General Counsel in the history of AFGE. General Counsel Roth leaves behind a most impressive record of achievement.
During his tenure as General Counsel, AFGE has filed and won more lawsuits, arbitrations, and statutory appeals than any other union. AFGE has recovered over $1 billion in back pay for its members. A longtime advocate for whistleblower protections, Roth, personally handled the first whistleblower protection case heard by the Merit Systems Protection Board and ultimately the D.C. Circuit, Frasier v. Department of Justice under the Civil Service Reform Act. He was instrumental in securing labor law rights enacted in 1990 for registered nurses and physicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In the closing hours of the 103rd Congress in 1993, Roth successfully negotiated the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1994.
Beginning in the early 1990s, General Counsel Roth instituted a legal internship program within AFGE’s General Counsel’s office, focusing on recruiting young and minority law students into the labor field. Under his stewardship, the program has had tremendous success in bringing young law students into legal positions throughout the labor movement.
General Counsel Roth was also a key participant in the select group formed by Vice-President Al Gore whose recommendations ultimately led to President Bill Clinton’s Executive Order on Labor-Management Partnerships and the formation of the successful National Partnership Council. For that work, Roth was awarded the “Hammer Award” for Reinvention by Vice-President Gore.
In honor of his outstanding career, General Counsel Roth was named part of the Greater Washington Legal Elite by Washington SmartCEO magazine in 2006.
During the Bush administration, Roth was a stalwart in leading coalitions of unions in defending the Civil Service System, and union and due process rights against President Bush’s National Security Personnel System and Max HR.
For almost three decades, Mark Roth, has served on the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers’ Coordinating Committee where he has helped shape labor law initiatives. Over his tenure as General Counsel, Mark Roth served four AFGE National Presidents, six National Secretary-Treasurers and 57 National Vice-Presidents. AFGE National President, John Gage praised General Counsel Roth for “leaving an indelible stamp on the great accomplishments of our Union. His achievements and his steady guidance through some turbulent times are appreciated and will never be forgotten.”
General Counsel Roth offered thanks to AFGE National President Gage and his predecessors. “I would like to thank President Gage and his predecessors at AFGE for allowing me to engage in a fulfilling career dedicated to an important and worthy cause.”


The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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