Deesha Dyer

Fall 2019
Resident Fellow

Deesha Dyer is a speaker, community leader and organizer, creative event strategy consultant, and most notably known as the former Obama Administration Social Secretary. The Philadelphia native and former hip-hop journalist became a White House intern at the age of 30 while attending community college and completed a seven-year tenure there that honed her expertise in event coordination, logistics, protocol, and statecraft. She led a team that coordinated the monumental 2015 visit of Pope Francis, State Dinners with heads of states from China, Canada, and Italy; and booked legendary performances by stellar artists such as Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, and the cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton.

A life-long community advocate, Deesha co-founded, an organization that empowers teen girls through global education and travel. Deesha sits on several boards including SIECUS, an organization dedicated to comprehensive sex education and MNDFL Ed, which brings mindfulness in to schools around New York City. Following a community college and study abroad scholarship she created, Deesha also recently launched The Black Girl 44 scholarship, which financially supports black female college students interning in Washington, D.C.

She has been featured in national media outlets including The New York Times, Essence, Vogue, Refinery29, Forbes, Glamour and Washington Post. She was named to Marie Claire’s new guard of women leaders changing the world in 2015 and that same year The Root named her 1 of 100 most influential African-Americans. 

Deesha is currently an advisor at the Ford Foundation and shares her incredible journey with audiences around the world. Her fellowship study group is titled, Imposter to Impact.

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