Donna Brazile & Karen Hughes

For a brilliant program about the most debated political issues of the day, the upcoming election, and social issues playing out across the country, veteran Democratic strategist and former chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Donna Brazile, and former senior counselor to President George W. Bush and advisor to Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Karen Hughes make the perfect duo.     

Donna Brazile, a well-versed Democratic political strategist, provides an insider's perspective on the challenges in Washington and where we go from here. Ms. Brazile is a New York Times bestselling author, Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and sought-after Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning media contributor to such outlets as ABC News, USA Today, and TheGrio. Brazile’s unique perspective into national and local elections makes her a fixture in American politics.

One of the world's foremost communication strategists, Karen Hughes specializes in strategic messaging, crisis communications and executive positioning with clients ranging from global corporations to Fortune 500 CEOs. Hughes has also served as counselor to President George W. Bush and Under Secretary of the State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. For her work in Washington D.C., Hughes has been described as "the most powerful woman ever to serve in the White House" (Dallas Morning News) and "the most powerful public diplomacy czar in decades" (The Boston Globe). 

Their in-person and virtual discussions are insightful and robust political programs and leave audiences energized, informed, and inspiring to engage with their civic responsibility like never before.

 

 

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Donna Brazile headshot

Donna Brazile

EXCLUSIVE NEW
  • Veteran Democratic Political Strategist
  • New York Times Bestselling Author
  • Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
  • Emmy- and Peabody-Award-Winning Media Contributor

Donna Brazile is one of the best known, most influential African-American women in modern American political life. She was named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, D.C.,” by Washingtonian Magazine and one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in America” by Essence Magazine. Ms. Brazile is a Senior Advisor at Purple Strategies, New York Times bestselling author, Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and sought-after Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning media contributor to such outlets as ABC News, USA Today and TheGrio.

She became the first African American woman to serve as the manager of a major party presidential campaign, running the campaign of former Vice President Al Gore.  She previously served as interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.  She is a current member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. 

She is author of the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics and the 2017 New York Times Bestseller Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump In The White House. 

She serves as an adjunct professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Georgetown University and served as the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University and as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. She has lectured at nearly 250 colleges and universities on diversity, equity and inclusion; women in leadership; and restoring civility in American politics.

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Karen Hughes headshot

Karen Hughes

EXCLUSIVE NEW
  • Counselor to President George W. Bush (2001-2002)
  • Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2005-2007)
  • One of the World’s Foremost Communication Strategists

One of the world's foremost communication strategists, Karen Hughes specializes in strategic messaging, crisis communications, and executive positioning with clients ranging from global corporations to Fortune 500 CEOs. She was inducted into the PR Hall of Fame for her work as worldwide vice chair of BCW Global. Hughes has also served as counselor to President George W. Bush and Under Secretary of the State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. As counselor to the President, she managed the White House Offices of Communications, Media Affairs, Speechwriting, and Press Secretary. As Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, she oversaw three bureaus at the Department of State: Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs, and participated in foreign policy development at the State Department. Hughes’ diverse expertise at the highest levels of communication across the public and private sectors imbues her with a compelling ability to tailor presentations to provide a directed expert perspective

Hughes has spoken at Boston College, Merril Lynch, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and many more. The Union League Club of Chicago, yet another happy host, said, “It was obvious from her remarks that she had given a great deal of thought to her address, and she touched upon all the right notes... A big home run!”

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Biography

Donna Brazile's Biography

Donna Brazile is a veteran political strategist, Senior Advisor at Purple Strategies, New York Times bestselling author, Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and sought-after Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning media contributor to such outlets as ABC News, USA Today and TheGrio.

She became the first African American woman to serve as the manager of a major party presidential campaign, running the campaign of former Vice President Al Gore.  She previously served as interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.  She is a current member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. 

She is author of the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics and the 2017 New York Times Bestseller Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump In The White House. She is a co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, which won the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction. Ms. Brazile is a contributor to the recently published 400 Souls:  A Community History of African America, 1619-2019.

She serves as an adjunct professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Georgetown University and served as the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University and as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. She has lectured at nearly 250 colleges and universities on diversity, equity and inclusion; women in leadership; and restoring civility in American politics.

She is the proud recipient of more than ten honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities, including her alma mater Louisiana State University. In October 2017, Ms. Brazile was the recipient of the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in African American studies.  Ms. Brazile was the recipient of a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Program, Good Morning America (2016-2017) in connection with her work with ABC and she was a member of the Peabody Award-winning “Best Political Team on Television” on CNN during the 2008 election cycle.

She moonlights as an actress and is especially honored to have made three cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife, and two cameo appearances on Netflix’s series House of Cards. She also appeared as herself on BET's Being Mary Jane. Most recently she played herself in the Zack Snyder film Army of the Dead. Ask her and she’ll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.

Karen Hughes's Biography

Ambassador Karen Hughes

Karen Hughes is a leading communications strategist, specializing in strategic messaging, crisis communications and executive communications.

Karen has provided strategic communications counsel to many high-profile clients. Karen helped develop the strategy to differentiate Ford in the aftermath of the auto bailout; she advised a global healthcare company as it managed recalls of some of its most iconic consumer products; she guided a major Texas retailer as it managed a complex data breach; she was the senior strategist on the team advising the first U.S. hospital to diagnose a patient with Ebola; and she helped Blue Bell Ice Cream manage the largest food safety recall of 2015 after listeria was found in several of its products. She has led numerous communications workshops and media trainings, and works directly with several CEOs and senior executives on their messaging and communications strategies.

Karen has more than 40 years of public policy, communications and political experience, from helping lead winning presidential campaigns to serving at the highest levels of government. Karen served as Counselor to the President for President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002. In this role she acted as strategic advisor to the president on policy and communications and led the White House Offices of Communications, Media Affairs, Speechwriting and Press Secretary.  Karen also served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs where she led the U.S. government’s efforts to communicate America’s values abroad.  

She serves on the Board of Directors for Parsley Energy and the National Football Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, an organization created to foster ties between the women of America and Afghanistan. Karen also serves on the Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council at the Bush Institute in Dallas. 

Karen is the best-selling author of Ten Minutes from Normal, a book about working for President Bush and her decision to leave the White House to return with her family to Texas in 2002. She was selected to serve as a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics for the Spring 2013 semester where she led a study group on communications.