Jeff Hermanson was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, served in the US Army in Europe, and received a BA in Philosophy and a MA in Chinese at the University of Wisconsin. Since 1977 he has been an organizer for the Teamsters and Carpenters, national organizing director for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and UNITE, representative in Mexico and senior adviser for the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and assistant executive director for the Writers Guild of America West. He has represented the Central General de Trabajadores de Honduras in negotiations with Russell Athletic and Nike, and the P.T. Kizone Workers Coordinating Committee in negotiations with Adidas. He is currently coordinator of the International Union League for Brand Responsibility, an organization of textile and apparel unions from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East that campaign for clothing brands to take responsibility for conditions in the factories that produce their garments.