Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.
Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New Orleans, Brazile’s passion is encouraging young people to vote, to work within the system to strengthen it, and to run for public office. Since 2000, Brazile has lectured at over 125 colleges and universities across the country on such topics as “Inspiring Civility in American Politics,” Race Relations in the Age of Obama, Why Diversity Matters, Women in American Politics: Are We There Yet.
She first got involved at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing set was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she became the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign.
Author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for Universal Uclick, a columnist for Ms.
Magazine, and O, The Oprah Magazine, an on-air contributor to CNN, and ABC, where she regularly appears on ABC’s This Week. Her secret passion is acting; she has recently made two cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife. Ask her and she’ll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.
In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first- ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement.
She is currently on the board of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Last, but never least, she is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. In the aftermath of the two catastrophic hurricanes that made landfall in the Gulf region, Brazile was appointed by former Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve on the Louisiana Recovery Board to work for the rebuilding of the state and to advocate for the Gulf recovery on the national stage.
Brazile is the proud recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.
Brazile is founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.
Mary Matalin is one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America. As an author, television and radio host, and widely sought after political contributor, pundit and public speaker, she has become noted for her straightforward manner and insightful political repartee. Among her many roles and accomplishments, she has served under President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as George H.W. Bush's Campaign director and most recently as assistant to President George W. Bush, and as assistant and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, making her the first White House official to hold that double title.
Matalin has been active in politics since college, starting at the grassroots level in local and statewide campaigns in her native Illinois. In 1980, after graduating from Western Illinois University, Matalin joined a re-election campaign for Illinois Lt. Governor David O'Neal at the request of a former professor. She was so successful, that when the "Reagan Revolution" brought her to Washington DC, she was quickly hired by the Republican National Committee.
After a hiatus from Washington to attend Hofstra Law School, Matalin returned to the RNC in 1984 to serve as national voter contact director for the Reagan-Bush Campaign. By 1988, after holding various senior positions in the George H.W. Bush successful presidential campaign of that same year, she was appointed Chief of Staff to Republican National Committee Chairman, Lee Atwater.
In 1992, President Bush named her deputy campaign manager for Political Operations, and as such she was responsible for the overview and organization of operations in all 50 states. As the on-board planner who traveled with President Bush throughout the 1992 campaign, she emerged as the vocal, and occasionally controversial, defender of the President and his policies.
Since that time, Matalin has made frequent television appearances as a political commentator, securing a career in conservative media advocacy following decades of work in the GOP political trenches. She was a founding co-host of the Washington-based political weeknight talk show Equal Time, which premiered in May, 1993 on CNBC. Her political astuteness and antics contributed to the show's being hailed as "the best talk show on television" by Knight Ridder News Service, and her straightforwardness and sharp sense of humor helped to make the show one of the most talked about programs in the network's history. She has made numerous appearances on NBC's Meet the Press, as well as on the popular HBO series K-Street, and before joining the Bush/Cheney White House, hosted CNN's critically acclaimed debate show, Crossfire. Today she can be seen as a frequent guest commentator on news networks such as ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News Network.
Matalin took her sharp wit, energy and free-spirited political views to the airwaves with her own three-hour afternoon radio program on the CBS Talk Radio Network. The Mary Matalin Show highlighted current events, featured distinguished guests, and was regularly inundated with listener calls. Talkers magazine listed Matalin as one of "The 100 Most Important Talk Show Hosts in America" in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The show was also recognized by receiving Talk Daily's "Great Web Site Award."
Today, she co-hosts the nationally-syndicated radio program Both Sides Now, which is currently broadcast on over 100 radio stations across the country.
In addition to her successful careers in politics, television and radio, Matalin is also a widely read, respected and acclaimed author. She formerly served as Editor-in-Chief for Threshold Editions, a conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster that has published authors from Vice President Dick Cheney to Karl Rove to Glenn Beck. Matalin co- authored the best-selling political campaign book All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President with her husband, James Carville. The book was named one of the top 5 best books on public relations by The Wall Street Journal. In their second joint memoir, Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home (January 2014), Carville and Matalin take a look at how they—and America—have changed in the last two decades. In their two distinct voices, they pick up their story from the end of the 1992 Presidential campaign to their new life in New Orleans today where their efforts to rebuild and promote that city have become a central part of their lives—and a poignant metaphor for moving the nation forward. She is also the author of Letters to My Daughters which made both The New York Times and The Washington Post best seller lists. Letters was also named a Book of the Month Club selection, and was chosen for a condensed version by Reader's Digest.
As if all this were not enough, Matalin also makes regular appearances as a public speaker and sits on the boards of numerous respected institutions across the country, including: Tulane University's President's Council, Greater New Orleans Inc. The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, The Water Institute of the Gulf, The Louisiana Nature Conservancy and most recently Matalin accepted an appointment as a visiting distinguished lecturer in political science at Loyola University New Orleans. Matalin was also co-chair of the 2013 NFL Super Bowl Host Committee alongside her husband, James Carville.
Today, the couple resides in New Orleans.