Former heads of the DNC and the RNC share their common views of the deep divide in which we find ourselves in American politics, and what we must do about it to move forward.
November 11 - 14, 2019
Donna Brazile & Michael Steele
Donna Brazile & Michael Steele
DONNA BRAZILE, a veteran political strategist is the former interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a current Fox News contributor, 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 and the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics. She is a co-author of the forthcoming book entitled For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics.
Ms. Brazile has devoted her life to working for progressive change, responsible governance, and the advancement of all people in a society that is fair and equitable. She has worked on every major presidential campaign since 1976 and in 2000 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 has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities across the country on such topics focused on women, race and diversity, was appointed by President Obama in 2013 to serve on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and is the proud recipient of more than ten honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities, including her alma mater, Louisiana State University.
In 2017, Ms. Brazile was the recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in African American studies. She has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, served as a Joan Shorenstein fellow in Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, was appointed the 2018-2019 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University.
O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. She was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, and Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement.
In 2016, Ms. Brazile was awarded Wonk of the Year from the Kennedy Political Union at American University. In March 2018, Black Enterprise awarded Ms. Brazile with the Barbara Graves Legacy Award.
Ms. Brazile has worked passionately on behalf of her beloved hometown of New Orleans, serving on the Louisiana Recovery Board after two catastrophic hurricanes for the rebuilding of the state and to advocate for the Gulf recovery on the national stage.
Ms. Brazile has received a Daytime Emmy, been a syndicated newspaper columnist, and is a prolific writer with articles in nearly every major newspaper in the nation. Moonlighting as an actor, she has made cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife and on Netflix’s House of Cards, and has recently appeared on BET’s Being Mary Jane.
Ms. Brazile is the founder and director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.
MICHAEL STEELE served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former Lieutenant governor of Maryland, and the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland. Until recently he was President and CEO of The Steele Group, a consulting firm working with institutional and individual clients to design overall business development, investor, networking, and communications strategies.
Mr. Steele is currently a political analyst for MSNBC. Mr. Steele’s ability as a communicator and analyst have long been showcased by his position as a contributor on the Fox News Channel and as a regular host for the Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated Morning in America Show. Additionally, Mr. Steele has been an entertaining and eloquent guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
As chairman of the RNC, Mr. Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. A self-described “Lincoln Republican,” under Steele’s leadership the RNC broke fundraising records (over $198 million raised during the 2010 Congressional cycle) and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938. His commitment to grassroots organization and party building at the state and local levels produced 12 governorships and the greatest share of state legislative seats since 1928 (over 600 seats).
As Lt. Governor of Maryland, Mr. Steele’s priorities included reforming the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program, improving the quality of Maryland’s public education system, expanding economic development in the state and fostering cooperation between government and faith-based organizations to help those in need.
Mr. Steele writes a regular column for The Root.com and BET.com and his writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, The Journal of International Security Affairs and Catholic University Law Review, among others. He is the recent author of Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, which is a call to arms for grassroots America.
Born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Mr. Steele was raised in Washington, DC. He spent three years in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University (’81’), Georgetown Law Center (’91), and an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership.