Challenges in Washington
Ms. Brazile, a well-versed Democratic political strategist, provides insider perspective on the challenges in the current administration.
Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is the former Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). For over 40 years Brazile, former Vice-Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation, has been an active member of the Democratic Party.
She first got involved in politics at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing set was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Ms. Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she became the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign.
In addition to her work as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Ms. Brazile is the author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics and is on leave with ABC News. She is especially pleased to have made three cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife, and two cameo appearances on Netflix’s series House of Cards. She most recently appeared on BET's Being Mary Jane. Ask her and she’ll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.
Ms. Brazile has worked passionately in the rebuilding and recovery efforts in her beloved hometown of New Orleans. Additionally, she loves working with young people, encouraging them to vote, to run for office, and to work within the system to strengthen it. Since 2000, Ms. Brazile has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities across the country on such topics as “Inspiring Civility in American Politics,” “Race Relations in the Age of Obama,” “Why Diversity Matters,” and “Women in American Politics.”
In 2014, Brazile was appointed by Barack Obama to serve on to the board of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. In addition, she serves on the Boards of National Democratic Institute, the National Institute for Civil Discourse, the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund, Inc., and Co-Chair for Democrats for Public Education. Recently, she was appointed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.
In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement. In 2016, Ms. Brazile was awarded Wonk of the Year from the Kennedy Political Union at American University.
Ms. Brazile is the proud recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Grambling State University, Spelman College, LeMoyne Owen College, Northeastern Illinois University, Medgar Evers College, Morehouse Medical College, Bethune Cookman University, Thomas Jefferson School of Nursing and Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.
Ms. Brazile is founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.