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Speaker Profile: Michele Jawando

Michele Jawando, Vice President, Legal Progress at American Progress, to speak at RISE Above Conference on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

Michele Jawando, Vice President, Legal Progress at American Progress, to speak at RISE Above Conference on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

Expertise: The Supreme Court and the judicial system, democracy and voting, civil rights, criminal justice and civil liberties, race and ethnicity, women's rights, religion

Michele L. Jawando is the Vice President for Legal Progress at American Progress. Previously, she served as general counsel and senior advisor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), where she was responsible for a wide-ranging portfolio of policy issues pertaining to the federal judiciary and nominations; voting rights; women and labor issues; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, issues; education; telecommunications; technology; and ethics. As a member of Sen. Gillibrand’s senior staff, she was responsible for leading some of the office’s landmark work, including the passage of the 9/11 health bill; the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or DADT; the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan; and Sen. Gillibrand’s trailblazing work on military and campus sexual assault.

Michele has a rich background in politics and public policy and has demonstrated lifelong commitment to public service, working tirelessly for a wide range of social justice issues. Aside from her efforts to ensure a full and functioning judiciary, Michele’s passion is protecting and securing voting rights for all citizens. Prior to working for Sen. Gillibrand, Michele served as the national campaign manager for election protection and legislative counsel at People For the American Way Foundation (PFAW). There, she managed a nationwide campaign devoted to reforming the election process and served as the deputy campaign manager for PFAW Foundation’s Restore My Vote, a program that provided assistance to ex-offenders in the clemency restoration process.

A native of Queens, New York, Michele started her career in public service in the office of Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), where she worked on judiciary, health care, and education issues.

Michele appears frequently in print and on air as a legal expert for outlets including the Washington Post, Politico, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, FOX, News One, and is currently a contributing columnist for Inside Sources. She additionally serves as a contributing host on The Leslie Marshall Show on the Progressive Voices Network and IHeartRadio, and on the Agenda with Ari Rabin-Havt on SiriusXM Progress Channel 127.

Michele holds a B.A. with honors from Hampton University and received her J.D. from the University Of North Carolina School of Law. When she isn’t busy promoting social justice, she is busy raising three daughters Alia, Addison, and Ava with her husband, Will Jawando, in Silver Spring.

Expertise: The Supreme Court and the judicial system, democracy and voting, civil rights, criminal justice and civil liberties, race and ethnicity, women's rights, religion

Michele L. Jawando is the Vice President for Legal Progress at American Progress. Previously, she served as general counsel and senior advisor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), where she was responsible for a wide-ranging portfolio of policy issues pertaining to the federal judiciary and nominations; voting rights; women and labor issues; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, issues; education; telecommunications; technology; and ethics. As a member of Sen. Gillibrand’s senior staff, she was responsible for leading some of the office’s landmark work, including the passage of the 9/11 health bill; the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or DADT; the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan; and Sen. Gillibrand’s trailblazing work on military and campus sexual assault.
Michele has a rich background in politics and public policy and has demonstrated lifelong commitment to public service, working tirelessly for a wide range of social justice issues. Aside from her efforts to ensure a full and functioning judiciary, Michele’s passion is protecting and securing voting rights for all citizens. Prior to working for Sen. Gillibrand, Michele served as the national campaign manager for election protection and legislative counsel at People For the American Way Foundation (PFAW). There, she managed a nationwide campaign devoted to reforming the election process and served as the deputy campaign manager for PFAW Foundation’s Restore My Vote, a program that provided assistance to ex-offenders in the clemency restoration process.
A native of Queens, New York, Michele started her career in public service in the office of Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), where she worked on judiciary, health care, and education issues.
Michele appears frequently in print and on air as a legal expert for outlets including the Washington Post, Politico, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, FOX, News One, and is currently a contributing columnist for Inside Sources. She additionally serves as a contributing host on The Leslie Marshall Show on the Progressive Voices Network and IHeartRadio, and on the Agenda with Ari Rabin-Havt on SiriusXM Progress Channel 127.
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