Howard University endows Donna Brazile with chair position

The longtime Democratic and political strategist has been appointed as the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy by the university

WASHINGTON, DC- JUNE 03: Donna Brazile is an American author, academic, and political analyst who is Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She is photographed in her office in Washington, D.C. on June 03, 2014. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Washington, D.C. – Howard University announces veteran political strategist and author Donna Brazile as the 2018-2019 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy.

Brazile will develop and host a five-part lecture series to engage the Howard community on several subjects, including politics, voting, criminal justice reform, and civility.

“Ms. Brazile has spent decades at the table of the political discourse in our nation,” says Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “She can now draw on all her experience and wisdom to bring a bipartisan discussion to these critical issues.”

Brazile is the first African American woman to direct a major presidential campaign, serving as Al Gore’s campaign manager in the 2000 election.

She is the former Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.


She also authored the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics. And, she is a co-author of the forthcoming book entitled, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics.

During the year-long chair position, Brazile will focus on the theme, “The Future Is Now,” exploring several public policy areas. Brazile says she is excited to make Howard University her first chair position, an historically black college and university (HBCU), in such an important political year.

“2018 is an election season like none other,” Brazile says.

“Having a conversation, not only about public policy, but also citizen political activism just ten years following the historic election of President Barack Obama, is a great and timely opportunity.”

The King Chair provides students access to experienced, senior public service executives who have developed and advanced public policy initiatives.

Since the chair was established in 2008, six prominent public leaders came to Howard’s campus and engaged students on issues related to the public interest, including an examination of the intricacies of policymaking.

“We are delighted that such a renowned political strategist as Donna Brazile will hold the King Chair in Public Policy this academic year,” Gwen and Colby King said in a joint statement.

Political strategist Donna Brazile. File photo. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“Donna Brazile will bring unparalleled breadth and depth of experience and knowledge to Howard students across several academic disciplines. Her presence on HU’s campus will spark a higher level of understanding and pique interest in the political process – having them eager to engage with her,” the Kings said.

The first event, scheduled September 4, is titled, “Finding Your Seat At The Table.” Brazile says it will be an opportunity for students to talk about the academic year ahead and for them to provide input to the lecture series. Her goal is to demystify the political process and how public policy is made.

“One of the reasons why we have a participation gap is because most people don’t know the many ways to serve,” says Brazile.

“I got involved through the electoral part of politics. But I’ve also been in public policy. I served on Capitol Hill. I’ve been a political analyst, a political writer, a presidential appointee and a campaign manager. So, there are multiple ways to serve. I want students to find their best seat at the table.”

Brazile has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities across the country. She is the recipient of over ten honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities, including her alma mater, Louisiana State University.
In October 2017, Harvard awarded Brazile their highest honor in African American studies, the W.E.B Du Bois Medal.

Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, serving since 2002, and a recent fellow of the Joan Shorenstein Fellowship in Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Brazile is the founder and director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, D.C.

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