Sherry Leiwant is Co-Founder and Co-President of A Better Balance (ABB), a national nonprofit legal advocacy organization that uses the power of the law to advance justice for workers, so they can care for themselves and their loved ones without jeopardizing their economic security.
Since 2006, Leiwant has co-led A Better Balance’s pioneering efforts to advance fair and supportive workplace legislation such as paid sick time and paid family and medical leave, and combat pregnancy and caregiver discrimination, in over 40 states and localities. Building on the organization’s successful passage of paid leave bills in the states, and as a leader in the national Paid Leave for All campaign, Leiwant has been instrumental in driving Congressional momentum to establish a strong, inclusive national paid family and medical leave program. She has also continued to lead on passing permanent and emergency paid sick leave laws across the country and providing model legislation as lawmakers have sought to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leiwant was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for the Economy for A Better Balance’s successful work advancing work-family justice in 2021, and the first-ever Visionary Women Award for Women’s Economic Empowerment in 2022. In 2015, she was awarded the Edith I. Spivack Award, named for the pioneering lawyer and role model for generations of women, for her work championing women’s rights.
Prior to co-founding A Better Balance, Leiwant was an Adjunct Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law teaching an upper level class on civil rights. From 1996 until 2005, Sherry was a senior staff attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund running the State Advocacy Project, working on issues intersecting women’s rights and poverty, including reproductive health, violence and child care. Before that, she spent 12 years as a senior staff attorney at the Welfare Law Center. Sherry graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and from Columbia University School of Law School. She has three children and has served on the Boards of Bank Street College of Education and Basic Trust Infant and Toddler Center.