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Kahlil Byrd

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Kahlil Byrd
Born Kahlil Julian Byrd
Residence New York, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Morehouse College, B.A.
Harvard Kennedy School, MPA
Spouse(s) Sarah Haacke (2011–present)

Kahlil Byrd is the founder and CEO of Forward Progress in Politics (FPPCO).[1] He formerly served as president of StudentsFirst,[2] a political advocacy group focused on education reform. He served less than a year in that role, leaving in July 2013.[3] Prior to that he served as CEO of Americans Elect. During the 2012 presidential election cycle, Americans Elect was a national organization that unsuccessfully sought to nominate and elect a third-party candidate for president[4] by attempting to put a bipartisan presidential ticket on the ballot in all 50 states.[5]

Early life and Education[edit]

Byrd holds a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College, and a masters from the Harvard Kennedy School.[6]

Career[edit]

Byrd started his career as a journalist, working for National Public Radio in Washington.[7]

He began his political career as spokesman and communications director for Deval Patrick’s 2006 campaign for governor. He left the campaign in April of 2006 to "return to business interests."[8] In 2007, Byrd joined the Patrick administration as Director of Gubernatorial Appointments. [9]

Byrd was also a Term Member and an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations.[10]

Byrd is the founder and CEO of Forward Progress in Politics (FPPCO).[11]

Americans Elect[edit]

From 2009 through the 2012 election cycle, Byrd was chief executive of Americans Elect, a national organization that aimed to reshape the U.S. presidential primary system and place a bipartisan presidential ticket on all 50 state ballots.[12] During his tenure, the organization raised over $40 million and established a fully functioning start-up with over 150 paid staff, 4,000 contractors and 3,000 volunteers nationwide. Over two years, Americans Elect had 3.5 million unique visitors to its website and acquired more than 450,000 members. No candidate emerged for president and the organization made the decision in the spring of 2012 to suspend the online convention.[13] AmericansElect.org was the winner of the 2012 People’s Choice Award at South by Southwest,[14] the Campaigns & Elections 2012 CampaignTech Innovator Award,[15] and two 2012 CLIO Awards for content and interactive excellence.[16]

StudentsFirst[edit]

Byrd served as the first president of StudentsFirst,[17] the grassroots education reform advocacy organization founded by Michelle Rhee. StudentsFirst is currently a multi-million dollar effort to change the nation’s legislative and policy education landscape and drive a national movement of teachers, parents, and students dedicated to reform. He was hired in 2012 to manage the organization’s long-term strategy, operations budget and growth.[17][18] In announcing his departure, Rhee credited him with helping the organization, saying “Kahlil has successfully seen StudentsFirst through a critical growth phase,” said Rhee. “He leaves the organization stronger and more prepared to challenge the status quo on behalf of kids.” [19]

Writing[edit]

Byrd writes about political entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. His has blogged a few times on HuffingtonPost.com. [20]

Personal life[edit]

Byrd is married to Sarah Haacke Byrd [21] a non-profit professional[22] living and working in New York City.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/publications/hks-magazine/archives/winter-2015/from-the-field
  2. ^ http://www.lasentinel.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10332:michelle-rhee-names-kahlil-byrd-as-studentsfirst-new-president&catid=40&Itemid=129
  3. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/president-of-michelle-rhees-group-leaves-94103.html
  4. ^ http://www.wcnc.com/news/politics/Third-party-group-gives-up-seeking-a-candidate-151540505.html
  5. ^ http://nymag.com/news/politics/powergrid/americans-elect-2012-1/
  6. ^ Harvard Kennedy School - Poll Vault
  7. ^ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDIR-1999-06-15/pdf/CDIR-1999-06-15-STATISTICALINFORMATION-16.pdf
  8. ^ http://blog.thephoenix.com/blogs/talkingpolitics/archive/2006/04/12/kahlil-byrd-leaves-the-patrick-campaign.aspx
  9. ^ http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2009/11/ex_patrick_press_aide_donates_baker_camp
  10. ^ Kahlil Byrd - Council on Foreign Relations
  11. ^ "Republican Ideals". http://www.hks.harvard.edu. Harvard University. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  12. ^ How Americans Elect's Kahlil Byrd is Starting a Third-Party Movement - New York Magazine
  13. ^ Our Centrist Savior Misses His/Her Deadline | New Republic
  14. ^ Americans Elect Wins SXSW People's Choice Award | PCWorld
  15. ^ Campaigns & Elections Magazine Announces "CampaignTech Innovators" | TechPresident
  16. ^ LBi wins two CLIO Awards for Americans Elect campaign
  17. ^ a b Former Americans Elect chief may head Rhee's StudentsFirst - POLITICO.com
  18. ^ StudentsFirst (2013-01-04). http://www.studentsfirst.org/press/entry/studentsfirst-announces-new-hires
  19. ^ Byron Tau, "President of Michelle Rhee's Group leaves." POLITICO, 2013-07-12. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/president-of-michelle-rhees-group-leaves-94103.html Retrieved 2013-08-31
  20. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kahlil-byrd/
  21. ^ http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/about-us/staff
  22. ^ NBC4 in D.C. Highlights Choosing to Participate Initiative - YouTube
Political offices
Preceded by
None
CEO of Americans Elect
2009-2012
Succeeded by
None