R. Thomas Buffenbarger

R. Thomas Buffenbarger

Brookeville, Maryland

Worker Advocate, Visionary Leader, Eagle Scout


Tom Buffenbarger has excelled as a union leader and as a Scouting volunteer, but it is at the intersection of the labor and Scouting movements where he has made perhaps the greatest impact. As president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Mr. Buffenbarger has worked tirelessly to mobilize union members to organize Scouting units, serve as Scouting volunteers, and lead Scouting fund-raisers. These efforts have benefited local councils across the country.

An Eagle Scout, Mr. Buffenbarger has served since 1999 on the executive board of the National Capital Area Council. He has served the council as president, vice president, and treasurer, and has chaired numerous nominating and search committees. Mr. Buffenbarger joined the National Executive Board in 2004. He is currently assistant treasurer and chair of the Finance and Investment committees.

Beyond Scouting, Mr. Buffenbarger serves on the board of directors of Guide Dogs of America and the public advisory board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is a member of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee to the International Monetary Fund, and he has served on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry.

As president of IAM, Mr. Buffenbarger leads more than 700,000 active and retired union members throughout the United States and Canada. Under his leadership, the IAM—one of North America’s largest industrial and transportation unions—has diversified to include health-care professionals, limousine drivers, loggers, tobacco workers, and U.S. Forest Service employees.

Mr. Buffenbarger and his wife, Linda, reside in Brookeville, Maryland.