Faiz Shakir

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Faiz Shakir
Born (1979-10-16) October 16, 1979 (age 44)
Florida, U.S.
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
Political partyDemocratic

Faiz Shakir (/fæz ʃəˈkɪər/;[1] born 1979) is an American Democratic political advisor. He serves as senior advisor to Bernie Sanders and executive director of the nonprofit media organization More Perfect Union.[2] Previously, he was campaign manager for Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, an aide to Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, an editor-in-chief of the ThinkProgress blog, and political director of the American Civil Liberties Union. Raised in Florida by Pakistani immigrants, Shakir is a progressive liberal and an advocate for Muslim American communities.

Early life and education[edit]

The son of Pakistani immigrants to the United States, Shakir was born and raised in Florida.[3][4] Shakir completed his B.A. in government at Harvard University, and played on the Harvard Crimson baseball team for four years.[5][6] Shakir earned a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University.[7][8]


After graduating from law school, Shakir worked as a communications aide in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and as a legislative aide to Senator Bob Graham.[9] He also worked on the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign as a junior staffer.[5] In 2005, Shakir began working for the Center for American Progress as a policy adviser.[10][11] There, he helped launch the ThinkProgress blog in 2005, of which he was the editor-in-chief from 2007 to 2012.[9]

In 2012, Shakir became House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's director of new media.[9] During that time, he was involved in advocacy for Muslim-American communities.[10] After that, he served as a senior adviser to Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.[12] Reid's former deputy chief of staff commented, "Reid did not make a big decision without consulting Faiz. There's no one he trusted more on how the progressive community would react on something and no one whose advice he took more seriously on pushing him to the left."[13] Shakir informally advised Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, which drew the ire of the Hillary Clinton campaign team. According to the Podesta emails, Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta chided Shakir for advising Sanders. "Gave him a very hard time," Podesta wrote to Neera Tanden about Shakir's involvement. "I have to say this does not go down easy with me."

Shakir joined the American Civil Liberties Union as its political director in January 2017.[14] In March, he helped the ACLU launch the People Power website, which engages volunteers to mobilize in defence of civil liberties.[11] Shakir had first pitched the idea for such a website to ACLU Director Anthony Romero in 2015; at that time, Romero had dismissed the idea as too radical.[15] The website attracted 225,000 volunteers in eight weeks, coordinating projects such as meetings with judges to film screenings to panels on law enforcement and immigration.[11][16][17]

Upon joining Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign in February 2019, Shakir became the first Muslim[12] and first Pakistani-American[18] campaign manager for a major party U.S. presidential campaign.

He and Roger Lau (who worked for Elizabeth Warren's campaign) share the distinction of being the first Asian-Americans to serve as campaign manager for a major American presidential candidate.[19][20]

In February 2021, Shakir and Nico Pitney founded More Perfect Union, a nonprofit news and advocacy outlet modeled on ThinkProgress.[21] Shakir describes More Perfect Union, which creates video and graphics to support labor issues, as "ThinkProgress for a digital age."[22]

Personal life[edit]

Shakir is married to anti-monopoly advocate Sarah Miller.[23]


  1. ^ PdF YouTube (June 13, 2017). "Faiz Shakir - Mass Organizing With a Legacy". Retrieved April 29, 2019 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Markay, Lachlan (March 11, 2021). "Sanders' campaign chief aiming to push Biden leftward". Axios. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  3. ^ Haniffa, Aziz. "Pakistani-American Faiz Shakir named Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign manager". IndiaAbroad.com. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  4. ^ "American Muslim Faiz Shakir set to make history as Sanders' campaign chief". American Muslim Faiz Shakir set to make history as Sanders’ campaign chief. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  6. ^ "First Pakistani-American to run presidential campaign for Bernie Sanders". Geo TV.
  7. ^ "Faiz Shakir, Vice President and Editor of ThinkProgress". Archived from the original on June 24, 2011.
  8. ^ "Howard Dean's prescription for real healthcare reform : how we can achieve affordable medical care for every American and make our jobs safer - NLM Catalog - NCBI". www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Sam Stein (May 8, 2012). "Nancy Pelosi Hires Think Progress' Faiz Shakir As Director Of New Media". Huffington Post.
  10. ^ a b "Faiz Shakir". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Lauren Fay Carlson (May 4, 2017). "ACLU West Michigan hosts National Political Director Faiz Shakir". Rapid Growth.
  12. ^ a b Lauren Gambino (February 20, 2019). "Bernie Sanders raises $5.9m in 24 hours after announcing 2020 campaign". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Gregory Krieg (February 19, 2019). "Sanders taps new campaign manager, gets endorsements from top Vermont lawmakers". CNN. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Gideon Resnick|Spencer Ackerman|Sam Stein (February 19, 2019). "Bernie Sanders Hires Top Progressive Advocate, Faiz Shakir, as Campaign Manager". Daily Beast. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Joshua Brustein (November 8, 2017). "The ACLU Wants to Be the NRA, Without All the Guns". Bloomberg.
  16. ^ Julia Fensenthal (April 20, 2017). "For the Women of the ACLU, Taking on Trump Is Just Another Day At the Office". Vogue.
  17. ^ Dale Maharidge. "Can the ACLU Remake Itself as a Mass Movement for Progressive Change?". The Nation.
  18. ^ Raj, Yashwant (February 20, 2019). "US senator Bernie Sanders picks Pakistani American Faiz Shakir to run presidential campaign". The Hindustan Times.
  19. ^ "Faiz Shakir: Finally, a South Asian American at the helm of a presidential campaign". The American Bazaar. February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  20. ^ Lee, MJ (February 13, 2019). "Elizabeth Warren taps Roger Lau as campaign manager". CNN. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  21. ^ Smith, Ben (November 7, 2021). "Why the Media Loves Labor Now". New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2021. More Perfect Union, a nonprofit news outlet .. quietly started in February. It is led, in part, by Faiz Shakir, the former manager of Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, and Nico Pitney, a former top editor at The Huffington Post and NowThisNews.
  22. ^ Markay, Lachlan (March 11, 2021). "Sanders' campaign chief aiming to push Biden leftward". Axios. Retrieved November 13, 2021. 'This is ThinkProgress for a digital age,' he said, with an emphasis on video and graphics that would be central 'if we were relaunching ThinkProgress in this modern environment.'
  23. ^ McCabe, David (February 11, 2020). "She Wants to Break Up Big Everything". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 11, 2020.