Donna Brazile, the veteran Democratic political strategist, educator, and media commentator will be the keynote speaker on Friday, May 27, 2016 when Medgar Evers College holds its 45th annual commencement ceremony at Barclays Center. Ms. Brazile will also receive an honorary degree from Medgar Evers, a senior college within the City University of New York (CUNY) system.
Ms. Brazile was the first African-American to manage a major presidential campaign when she assumed that role for Senator Al Gore’s presidential bid in 2000. A native of New Orleans, she has worked on a presidential campaign every year from 1976 through 2000. A New Orleans native who has actively worked to rebuild her city, Ms. Brazile is a graduate of Louisiana State University. One of her passions is encouraging young people to vote. She is the Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation at the Democratic National Committee.
In 2014, Ms. Brazile was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the board of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Earlier this year, she was awarded Wonk of the Year from the Kennedy Political Union at American University. Her long list of accolades include receiving the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement. She has been named a “remarkable visionary” by O, The Oprah Magazine, was named among the100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian Magazine and one of the Top 50 Women in America by Essence Magazine.
Author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, Ms. Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She writes a syndicated newspaper column for Universal Uclick, is a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and is a contributor to Essence Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also an on-air contributor on CNN and on ABC, where she regularly appears on the Sunday morning show This Week.
Since 2000, Ms. Brazile has lectured at over 185 colleges and universities across the country. The topics have included civility in American Politics and race relations in the era of President Obama. Among her many honorary degrees are those from North Carolina AT&T State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Spelman College.