David graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Labor Studies Program in 1990 and went on to do graduate studies in Dispute Resolution. Over the course of his 42-year career, he spent about 25 years as an active board member for his union, and more than half of those years serving as its President.
In 2014 he was asked to teach a course at the Labor Guild. Not knowing what to teach, he asked. What is it that I wanted students to learn that I didn’t learn in my formal education?’ “And the one thing I didn’t understand well at the time was how labor unions began and how we got to the predicament we’re in today?” So he put together a course called “Power and Struggle, drawing on economics, government, and the history of the labor movement.
After teaching courses for a few years, Kowalski was asked to join the Guild’s board of directors. In January 2019, he was asked to take over as President and fill the role of Executive Director, where he served in both roles from March 2019 to December 31, 2022. He now continues to serve on the Guild’s Executive Board.