Gamble, who announced his early retirement last week, noted that he hoped the union's next leader would usher in a period of multiple-term presidents.
"You need time to settle in and look at the long-range focus and priorities of our membership," Gamble said. "Especially in this time of vast technological change."
Curry will face re-election within a year at the union’s June 2022 convention, the original end-date to Gamble’s term, but he could face a more difficult road than his predecessors.
As part of its six-year consent decree with the federal government, the UAW will soon hold a referendum on whether to adopt a one-person, one-vote election system, upending the longstanding method to how it selects its leaders.
Traditionally, its leaders have come from what's known as the Reuther Administrative Caucus, and generally have faced nothing more than token opposition at quadrennial election conventions.
Curry was named secretary-treasurer, traditionally a steppingstone to the presidency, in June 2018. Previously, he was the union's Region 8 director. He joined the UAW in July 1992 as a truck assembler at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, N.C., according to a UAW biography.
He is a North Carolina native who served three years on active duty in the U.S. Army and five years in the U.S. Army Reserve.
During his tenure as secretary-treasurer, Curry implemented a number of financial ethics reforms including internal and external auditing as well as enhanced reporting procedures. Those measures ultimately helped stave off a government takeover of the union amid a years-long corruption scandal.
Separately, the union said Monday that Frank Stuglin, director of Region 1, would replace Curry as secretary-treasurer for the remainder of his term, which ends next June.
"Together in Region 1, we have taken a bottom-up approach to leadership, getting members directly involved not only in contracts, but in organizing, activism and community service," Stuglin, 61, said in a statement. "The voice and energy of members is what makes this union stronger and leads to better contracts, the strength of our solidarity and our outreach and community service. I hope to bring that same member-driven approach to my new assignment."
The union's board on Monday also elected Chuck Browning, 57, as its next vice president of the Ford Motor Co. department. Browning will replace Gerald Kariem, who announced his early retirement last month.
Browning previously served as director of Region 1A, which includes much of the Detroit area.
“I look forward to hitting the ground running in my new role," he said in a statement. "I can’t tell you how thankful I am to the members and staff of Region 1A for these last few years. Together, we have focused on member services, contracts and our community, and I’m proud to say we have built a team atmosphere. It has been an absolute privilege to serve my brothers and sisters in Region 1A. I am committed to continuing that service and support to the membership and our communities in my new role.”