Edward A. Kelly
General President, International Association of Fire Fighters
Ed is general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). He previously served as the union’s general secretary-treasurer from 2016 to 2021. Ed joined the Boston Fire Department as a fire fighter/EMT in 1997 and rapidly climbed the ranks of organized labor. He is known and respected for his strong dedication to the rank-and-file members of the IAFF and his visionary leadership across the labor movement.
While serving as general secretary-treasurer of the IAFF, he oversaw programs that modernized communications and database tools among IAFF affiliates in the United States and Canada, as well as organizational changes in healthcare and other expense reductions, which saved approximately $2 million. Ed also made changes to ensure compliance with various oversight and regulatory obligations which protect the union from scrutiny.
He was also among the thousands of fire fighters at Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and responded to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. He is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors for Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes and a trustee for the Boston Fire Department Charitable Association, first established in 1828 to ensure proper burial for indigent firefighters and which now assists widows and widowers of fire fighters of modest means. A proud military veteran, Ed served as a fire fighter in the U.S. Air Force.