General President Edward A. Kelly

Kelly is the 10th General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters

About the General President

Edward A. Kelly is a third-generation fire fighter and 10th General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. As General President, he has prioritized the needs of rank-and-file members and ensured the union is focused on protecting the health and safety of fire fighters, emergency medical, and rescue workers.

Kelly was elected at the IAFF’s 55th Convention in March 2021. He was previously the union’s General Secretary-Treasurer from 2016 to 2021.

The grandson, son, and brother of fire fighters, Kelly joined the Boston Fire Department in 1997, assigned to Ladder Company 17. He has been involved in several high-profile responses, including working on the Technical Rescue Team that assisted at the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

Kelly rapidly climbed the ranks of organized labor, serving as president of Local 718 before becoming president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts in 2011. He held that role until he was elected IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer.

In that role, he instituted changes that saved the IAFF approximately $2 million, and he worked to ensure compliance with regulatory obligations to protect the union from scrutiny. Kelly also modernized the operations of the General Secretary-Treasurer’s office while preserving the long history of the IAFF by making every historical record within his office available to members.

Kelly graduated from the Harvard Trade Union Program in 2015 and has been recognized by multiple organizations for his commitment to others, including the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, CORPath, the Greater Boston Labor Council, and the New England Jewish Labor Counci.

A proud military veteran, Kelly served as a fire fighter in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Boston Fire Department.

As part of his charitable efforts, Kelly 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.

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