DMI Blog


Andrea Batista Schlesinger

Andrea Batista Schlesinger applied her background in public policy, politics and communications to lead the effort to turn the Drum Major Institute, originally founded by an advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement, into a progressive policy institute with national impact. During her tenure as Executive Director from 2002 to 2010, DMI released several important policy papers to national audiences; produced the only progressive analysis of the immigration debate addressing the concerns of the squeezed middle-class; created its Marketplace of Ideas series, which highlights successful progressive policies from across the country; launched two policy blogs that reach several thousand readers each day; and, launched a national program to connect college students from under-represented communities to careers in policy. Andrea doubled DMI's staff, capacity and budget, making it a leading source for progressive ideas.

Andrea studied public policy at the University of Chicago. Before DMI, Andrea directed a national campaign to engage college students in the discussion on the future of Social Security for the Pew Charitable Trusts and served as the education advisor to Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer. She has been profiled in publications including the New York Times, New Yorker magazine, Latina Magazine and in 'Hear us Now,' an award-winning documentary about her tenure as the student member of the New York City Board of Education. In media outlets from NPR to The Huffington Post, Andrea is turned to for her forward-thinking analysis on America's greatest challenges. She has appeared on television shows including the 'Lou Dobbs Tonight' show on CNN and has been published in publications including The Nation, New York Newsday, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Mississippi Sun Herald, New York Daily News,, Tom, New York Sun, Colorlines Magazine, The Chief-Leader, City Limits magazine. She was named a '40 under 40 Rising Star' by Crain's New York Business in 2007, a "Next Generation of Political Leaders in New York" by City Hall Newspaper, and received a LatinaPAC Dolores Huerta Award for "making great strides in promoting progress in our community." She serves on the Editorial Board of The Nation, and the boards of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, WireTap and the Applied Research Center. Andrea has presented at numerous conferences, including Take Back America, Institute for Women's Policy Research, YearlyKos, and Facing Race. She was recently appointed by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to the New York City Traffic Mitigation Congestion Commission.

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