Andrew Gillum

Spring 2019
Resident Fellow

A champion for everyday people, Andrew Gillum inspired millions across Florida and the nation in 2018. He surged past four better-funded primary candidates to a history-making victory as the Florida Democratic Party's first African-American nominee for governor.

A lifelong public servant, Andrew Gillum is recognized across Florida and the nation as a bold and inspirational leader. The former Mayor of Tallahassee and 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Gillum brought Floridians together in pursuit of fundamental human rights — the right to a well-paying job; the right to a good education; the right to quality health care; the right not to live in fear of gun violence in our schools or our streets. The only Democratic candidate for governor in Florida this century who wasn't a millionaire, he won the hearts and minds of millions.

Above all, Andrew Gillum shows us what fearless leadership looks like.

Gillum’s passion to fight for everyday people comes from his own life’s journey. The son of a school bus driver and a construction worker, Andrew Gillum knows what it's like for a family to struggle, financially, and to have to choose between paying the water bill or the heating bill. The first in his family to graduate from high school and college, he knows first-hand how strong values, schools, and community can set an individual on a different course.

More than two million new midterm voters turned out in Florida in 2018 — shattering all records. The movement Mayor Gillum inspired is, without a doubt, responsible.

Andrew Gillum’s efforts to help lift up his fellow Floridians stretch back more than 15 years. Elected to the Tallahassee City Commission at age 23, he is youngest person elected in the city’s history. At age 21, while still a student at Florida A&M University, he led a thousand students to protest Gov. Jeb Bush's attempt to end affirmative action. As a City Commissioner, he championed restorative justice programs to rehabilitate and educate offenders. He also created public-private partnerships to secure funding for computers and internet access for middle school students. As Mayor, Gillum ​spearheaded the construction of a 20-megawatt solar farm, giving thousands of Tallahassee residents the ability to rely on clean, renewable energy for the first time. Recognizing Mayor Gillum’s commitment to innovation and technology, President Obama named Tallahassee one of just 50 TechHire cities in the nation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Andrew Gillum hears that call every day. And every day he works to answer it, dedicating his time, his talent, and his limitless passion into lifting up his fellow Americans.

Following his historic run for governor, Andrew Gillum was honored as one of the EBONY Power 100, and named a 2019 Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School. ​Gillum resides in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife, R. Jai, and their three children — Jackson, Caroline and Davis.

Disclaimer: This information is accurate for the time period that this person was affiliated with the Institute of Politics.