Meet Ed
Ed Murphy has a long history of advocacy, as a community organizer and Vietnam Veteran, leader in public policy, organized labor, economic and workforce development, strategic planning, business consulting and international trade.

In 1967, after three years in the Paulist Fathers’ seminaries, Ed enlisted in the army and began his professional life as a military intelligence agent, fluent in Vietnamese, working in the central highlands of Vietnam with the 4th Infantry Division. He returned to America as a Vietnam expert and veterans activist. Ed has articulated the challenges, mistakes, missed opportunities and options Americans face interacting in a global economy. He has written extensively about Vietnam and veterans issues, developed and implemented voluntary and public sector veteran’s services; established some of the earliest PTSD programs and served as an advisor to the federal court in the Agent Orange Class Action.

Ed has used his BA in American Studies, two (2) years graduate work in the history of social change and revolution, his master’s degree in Public Administration from SUNY Albany and Arts Management certificate from North Carolina State University to support work as a public sector and non-profit executive, consultant to government and international businesses, and leader in organizational development and systems transformation.

Ed Murphy at St. Peter's Church
Ed Murphy portrait

As Director of Workforce Planning, at NYS Civil Service, Ed led development of New York’s first state workforce plan in 1989, recommending introduction of a Workforce Impact Statement as a component of public funding. In 1991, Ed left the NYS Department of Economic Development to work on reconciliation with Vietnam, do business consulting and provide humanitarian assistance. He participated in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)’s 1991 Investors Forum in Ho Chi Minh City and subsequent meetings with government leaders in Hanoi. For 10 years, Ed consulted with businesses, NGOs and educational institutions interested in establishing programs in Southeast Asia. Ed initiated programs related to and then assisted in development of the City University of New York’s establishment of English language training in and educational exchanges with Vietnam.

Ed Murphy arrest

Ed’s arrest at an Irish St Patrick’s Day protest.

In 1999, Ed came to work with the NYS AFL-CIO, establishing theWorkforce Development Institute (WDI), a national leader in economic development, workforce intelligence, education and training of unionized workers, childcare and more. WDI has both statewide and regional operations, provides economic research, community audits, policy analysis and cultural services. In addition, WDI provides financial and technical assistance to manufacturers across New York State. Ed was one of the founders of the NYS Apollo Alliance, bringing together environmentalists, organized labor, business, educators and proponents of environmental justice to address energy concerns. Ed serves on the New York State Workforce Investment Board.

Ed has served as an op-ed columnist, published 35 articles in newspapers, journals and magazines, has had three photography exhibitions sponsored by the NYS Vietnam Memorial, been a technical advisor on one movie and was honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the 1987-1988 Primetime Emmy Awards for Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam, broadcast by HBO.

Ed and his daughter, Zoeann, co-authored and shot the photographs for Vietnam, A Father Daughter Journey. In 2015, he edited Working Stories, Essays by Reflective Practitioners. In 2016, Ed published Becoming A Leader, an anthology of his essays published in business journals, newspapers and magazines. In 2017, Ed edited Creative Lives, a collection of essays related to the creative economy. Currently Ed is writing a memoir looking at his work and the values that guide him.

Ed has been married to Lin Murphy since 1972. Lin is a writer, poet, personal coach, yoga and spiritual teacher. They founded an NGO, Pathfinders Institute and Murphy Associates, their consulting business. Lin and Ed are the parents of Zoeann, an award-winning Washington Post visual journalist and Jack, a Princeton Geosciences Ph.D. candidate, Both of their children have provided international voluntary services, Zoeann for refugees in India and Southeast Asia and Jack through the Peace Corps in Lesotho.

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