Symone Sanders Townsend

EXCLUSIVE
  • Political Strategist and Former CNN Political Commentator
  • Host and Anchor, MSNBC's 'SYMONE'
  • Former Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris
  • Author of 'No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America'

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and author Symone Sanders Townsend is a gifted communicator with a passion for problem solving, social justice, and in-depth analysis of today’s most important issues. Sanders Townsend previously served as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, the youngest person to ever hold that title. She served as a senior advisor for President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and was appointed as a senior member of the Biden-Harris administration, and will now bring her nuanced and critical insight to MSNBC as the host of SYMONE, as well as serving as an anchor and hosting a show on The Choice, MSNBC’s digital streaming arm. In her book No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America, Sanders Townsend shares her take-no-prisoners approach to life, politics, and career success, advocating for a new generation to be powerful in their own right. A rousing call to leadership, Congresswoman Maxine Waters raved, “Symone’s honest and profound reflection on standing up and speaking out is sure to inspire young people across the country to become the change agents the world needs.”

Sanders Townsend is a highly sought-after commentator and speaker, from her TED Talk Stop asking permission!, to an invigorating conversation at SXSW, Politico’s 2019 Women Rule Summit, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, and many more. She served as the National Chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee, a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, and in her role as principal of the 360 Group, Sanders Townsend worked on leading-edge solutions to tough political and social problems. Sanders Townsend shares her expertise in communication and political strategy, in-depth analysis of key political issues, and the challenges and possibilities for radical change with authenticity, humor, and insight.

 



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Rave Reviews About Symone Sanders Townsend as a Speaker
Symone's speech was AWESOME! Given our political climate, I think our students really needed to hear what she had to say. She was educational, funny, timely, and inspiring.

Moderating - Sharing the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration with the world | SXSW [36:55] - Get Sharable Link
Talks & Conversations with Symone Sanders Townsend
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Election Outlook with Symone Sanders Townsend

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and communications expert SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND gives her perspective on this election cycle. As a former Biden strategist, Townsend regularly distills the major concerns facing voters into comprehensive, engaging programs emphasizin ...

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and communications expert SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND gives her perspective on this election cycle. As a former Biden strategist, Townsend regularly distills the major concerns facing voters into comprehensive, engaging programs emphasizing the importance of voter research. Ideal for panel moderation, staged debates, and independent programs, Townsend provides critical nuance to discussions surrounding the topics top of mind this election season.

The Political Moment

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and author SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND offers in-depth analysis of today’s most important issues from her unique perspective as former Press Secretary for both the Sanders and Biden presidential campaigns and her time in the Biden-Harris W ...

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and author SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND offers in-depth analysis of today’s most important issues from her unique perspective as former Press Secretary for both the Sanders and Biden presidential campaigns and her time in the Biden-Harris White House. Sanders Townsend offers vitalizing takeaways that engage as well as inform.

Navigating Controversy and Building DEI Culture

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and communications expert SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND offers actionable insights about message management during times of conflict, navigating controversy, and building culture that is rooted in meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion. ...

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and communications expert SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND offers actionable insights about message management during times of conflict, navigating controversy, and building culture that is rooted in meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sanders Townsend advocates for transparency and radical change in an authentic conversation that will be transformative for individuals, companies, and organizations.

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<p><strong>Symone Sanders Townsend </strong><strong>receives rave reviews from audiences of all kinds for her insightful and engaging talks</strong></p>

Symone Sanders Townsend receives rave reviews from audiences of all kinds for her insightful and engaging talks

Accomplished political strategist and commentator SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND shares her political prowess, expertise in communication skills, in-depth analysis of key societal issues, and the possibilities for radical change with humor, authenticity, and wisdom. Sanders Townsend is an in-demand speaker for her unique insight into building culture that is rooted in meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sanders Townsend has been sought-after by groups like Metropolitan State University, the African American Community Service Agency, Earlham College, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP, and many more. She regularly receives rave reviews for her deeply inspiring engagements, such as: 

  • Metropolitan State University: “Symone’s speech was AWESOME! Given our political climate, I think our students really needed to hear what she had to say. She was educational, funny, timely, and inspiring”
  • African American Community Service Agency: “Everything went amazing. She is a rare light that illuminated her unique style to our guests. We are WOW’d!”
  • Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP: “She was excellent! Really dynamic, engaged, insightful, and energetic. I received all positive feedback. Please pass along my sincere thanks to Symone!”

Watch Symone Sanders Townsend on MSNBC’s Morning Joe >>

Watch Symone Sanders Townsend moderating at SXSW >>

<p><strong>Symone Sanders Townsend takes on her next major role, hosting MSNBC’s ‘The Weekend’</strong></p>

Symone Sanders Townsend takes on her next major role, hosting MSNBC’s ‘The Weekend’

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and communications expert SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND hosts MSNBC’s The Weekend to encourage productive political conversation. Hosted by Sanders Townsend alongside Michael Steele and Alicia Menendez, The Weekend is a nonpartisan, go-to source for viewers of MSNBC showcasing diverse perspectives, opinions, and identities. Sanders Townsend told The Hill, “It’s important that people can come to a place and see folks with various viewpoints, have a conversation, and they can walk away making their own decision.”

Watch Symone Sanders Townsend speak on campaign strategy at Meet the Press here >>

Watch Symone Sanders Townsend moderating at SXSW >>

<p><strong>Washington insider Symone Sanders Townsend interprets what's happening on the campaign trail and what it means for your business or organization</strong></p>

Washington insider Symone Sanders Townsend interprets what's happening on the campaign trail and what it means for your business or organization

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and author SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND leverages her platform as the host of MSNBC’s SYMONE to shape culture surrounding politics today. Her work is particularly poignant surrounding election cycles, where her experience in politics clearly comes into play. Not only was Sanders Townsend the youngest-ever national press secretary for a presidential campaign, she also served as a senior advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris. By analyzing the biggest cultural events of today, Symone uses her work as an advisor to shape our understanding of today’s political playing field.

With Washington insider perspectives and a bold interview style, Sanders Townsend is undeniably a powerhouse of contemporary politics and media. The Biden administration alum draws on her thought leadership as a resident fellow of both Harvard's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School and the University of Southern California's Center for the Political Future to bring forward perspectives shaping both the private and public sector. Her ability to both break down policy for ubiquitous understanding and engage important voices in industry provides a guide for businesses to respond to changes in contemporary politics and culture as campaigns progress. 

Watch Symone speak on campaign strategy at Meet the Press here >>

<p><strong>Symone Sanders Townsend is creating the discourse that is missing in media and considering all vantage points with her new show <em>SYMONE</em></strong></p>

Symone Sanders Townsend is creating the discourse that is missing in media and considering all vantage points with her new show SYMONE

Experienced democratic political strategist SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND’s namesake show provides essential context on the most pressing issues facing Americans today. As Forbes said of her new MSNBC show SYMONE, “viewers will see the same version of the high-energy, politics- and culture-obsessed dynamo who’s worked for Senator Bernie Sanders as well as the Biden 2020 campaign, and as a spokesperson for Vice President Harris.” The communications expert and former CNN commentator joined The New York Times Opinion podcast Sway to share how she is covering the administration she just left as well as importance of including multiple vantage points in any conversation. “I think it is very important to not paint with a broad stroke brush,” she said of her curated and balanced political panels. This unique gift for including and considering all vantage points is part of what Sanders Townsend considers her due diligence to ensure audiences are receiving the most thorough reporting possible on every story that comes across her anchor desk, and makes her an in-demand commentator for her rigorous analysis, fearless insights, and commitment to getting the whole story.

Drawing on her intimate involvement with the Biden/Harris administration and its policy initiatives, the former senior advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris told Politico, “Something that my show will be able to offer that is different than any other show is keen insight into the people, the policies, and the plans of this administration and the current president and vice president of America.” In her conversation on the Sway podcast, Sanders Townsend shares that – as a former critic of the media apparatus – she now has a responsibility to create change, saying: “I now have the opportunity to create and facilitate that particular discourse.” Sought after for her expertise in communication and political strategy, in-depth analysis, and definitive perspective, Sanders Townsend brings authenticity, humor, and insight to events with groups like SXSW, Politico’s Women Rule Summit, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, and more.

Watch Symone Sanders Townsend’s explosive interview with the First Lady on SYMONE >>

Watch Symone Sanders Townsend on MSNBC’s Morning Joe >>

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Books by Symone Sanders Townsend
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Biography

Symone Sanders Townsend is an author and seasoned political strategist.

Sanders Townsend rose to prominence in 2016 as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s then-presidential campaign.  At 25, she became the youngest presidential press secretary on record and was named to Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 16 young Americans shaping  the 2016 election.  At 29, she published her first book, No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America and served as a senior advisor for President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.  At 31, Sanders Townsend was appointed as a senior member of the Biden-Harris administration serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris.

A communicator with a passion for problem solving and social justice, Sanders Townsend served as the national chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee and a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice before joining Senator Sanders’s campaign. There, she worked to raise the profile of young voices in the fight for juvenile justice reform and brought millennial perspectives to policy conversations. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris administration, Sanders Townsend was principal of the 360 Group where she helped clients find sound solutions to tough political and social problems. 

Sanders Townsend is a former political commentator for CNN and resident fellow of both Harvard's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School and the University of Southern California's Center for the Political Future.  

She is a native of North Omaha, Nebraska and currently resides in Washington D.C. with her husband, Shawn.