From making history to knocking down doors, our 15 African American Women Politicos under 40 are making a name for themselves in the political arena. They have taken places like the White House and Capitol Hill by storm all the while by staying true to themselves. Take a look at our fabulous 15 African American Women Politicos.
1) Micaela Fernandez, Director Of Events and Protocol, The White House As the Director of Events and Protocol, Micaela Fernandez coordinates all events at the White House involving members of Congress including bill signings with the President, as well as other appearances and meetings. Before moving up to her current position, Micaela was the Director of Oval Office operations where she served as the gatekeeper to the most famous office in the world and even worked with then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a an advisor.
2) Nicole Isaac, Special Assistant to the President of the United States in the Office of Legislative Affairs, The White House
Up until August, Nicole Issac was the Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Vice President. In that position, she kept Vice President Joe Biden up to date on congressional actions and the latest on hearings and bills. Before her current position, Nicole also served in the Office of Legislative Counsel and as floor counsel for Sen. Richard Durbin.
3) Karen Richardson, Associate Director, Office Of Public Engagement
As a director in the Office of Public Engagement, Karen is responsible for reaching out to the international community and working on foreign policy related issues. Before her current role she also helped with outreach for the Affordable Care Act with the White Office of Health Reform.
4) Samantha Tubman, Deputy Social Secretary, The White House
After graduating from University of Pennsylvania, this politico joined then Sen. Obama on the campaign trail as a press wrangler. As Deputy Social Secretary now, she works with the Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard to execute events at the White House including state dinners, bill signings and other social events.
5) Danielle Crutchfield, Director of Scheduling and Advance, The White House
This Hampton University alum knows President Obama’s every move, literally. As Director of Scheduling and Advance for the White House, Danielle is responsible for organizing all of the president’s meetings, events, and appearances. Her office is made up of over 35 individuals and consists of a separate scheduling and an advance team.
6) Jessica Wright, Director of Scheduling, The White House
As Director of Scheduling for the White House, Jessica oversees the execution of the President’s day to day schedule. Working with Danielle Crutchfield, she is responsible for coordinating with several offices within the White House to come up with an intricate itinerary for Pres. Obama.
7) Daniella Gibbs Leger, Vice President for New American Communities Initiatives at the Center for American Progress
Before Leger joined the Center for American Progress, Daniella served as a special assistant to the president and director of message events in the White House. In that capacity, she helped to coordinate all aspects of Pres. Obama’s public events including the messaging and logistical details. Currently as the Vice President for New American Communities, she works with several teams at the Center like Progress 2050, Faith and Progressive Policy and Progressive Studies to shape policy and strategy.
8) Angela Rye, Executive Director & General Counsel, Congressional Black Caucus
Ever wondered who keeps the Congressional Black Caucus in line? Look no farther than Angela Rye, the Executive Director and General Counsel of the Congressional Black Caucus. She works closely with the Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, the chairman of the caucus and helps with executing the legislative agenda for the CBC.
9) Eureka Gilkey, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach, 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee
Politics is second nature to this mover and shaker. After working as the White House Liaison for the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a few years, Eureka is now heading to Charlotte, NC to serve as a Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach for the 2012 Democratic Convention. No stranger to the campaign trail, she even worked as the National Deputy Political Director for Obama 2008.
10) Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Council, At-large City Councilor
Ayanna Pressley made history when she became the first African American women to serve on the Boston City Council in 2008. Often connecting with constituents by her personal stories, she is launching a new initiative in Boston to advocate for girls who have been sexual assaulted. Re-elected for a second term in November, Pressley is the only woman on the council and earned the most votes out of all the incumbents.
11) Alisha Thomas Morgan, State Representative, Georgia General Assembly
This Spelman alumna is making waves in the Peach state. Alisha Thomas Morgan first made history at age 23 when she became the first African-American to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives for Cobb County. In 2010, Alisha was elected to her fifth term and also released a book,” No Apologies: Powerful Lessons in Life, Love & Politics” the same year.
12) Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Obama for America, Youth Vote Director
As the Youth Vote Director for President Obama’s reelection efforts, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones’s job is to make sure that young people are fired up and ready to go. The daughter of Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield, politics comes second nature to the Clark-Atlanta Unversity Alum. Before her job with the campaign, Butterfield-Jones served as the the Deputy Director, Public Affairs at the Department of Commerce and the executive director of Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
13) Stephanie Brown, National African American Vote Director, Obama for America
Stefanie Brown was recently announced as President Obama’s National African American Voter Director the 2012 Presidential election. This however isn’t Brown first foray into outreach and voter registration. She previously served as the former national field director for the NAACP where she led an effort that registered about 200,000 voters during the 2008 elections.
14) Melanie Roussell, Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
As the 2012 presidential election heats up, the Democratic National Committee has chosen Melanie Roussell to put out its fires. The New Orleans native is the national press secretary for the party and will also help direct the rapid response group for the DNC. Roussell is a graduate from Florida A&M University and American University and previously served as press secretary for the Department of the Housing and Urban Development.
15) Michele Lawrence Jawando, General Counsel and Senior Advisor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Who doesn’t want a resume that reads like Michele Lawrence Jawando? She is the General Counsel and Senior Advisor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and also worked at the People for the American Way Foundation. As the National Campaign Manager of Election Protection & Legislative Counsel, she managed a team that educated voters on the election process and voting rights while simultaneously serving as their counsel.
What do you think? Did we miss somebody? Who should we add for next year?