Addisu Demissie Named University of Chicago Institute of Politics Fellow

Addisu Demissie recently served as Senior Advisor to U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden and was responsible for organizing the 2020 Democratic Convention last month. He has been named a University of Chicago Institute of Politics Pritzker Fellow. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: August 14th, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — Addisu Demissie — who recently served as Senior Advisor for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and was responsible for organizing the 2020 Democratic Convention — is headed to University of Chicago this month as the Institute of Politics (IOP) Fall 2020 Resident Pritzker Fellow. As part of this fellowship, Addisu will “interact with students and faculty, participate in speaker series events, and, along with guests, lead off-the-record students-only seminars on current political and public policy topics at the IOP.”

According to the University of Chicago, each academic quarter the IOP Fellows program brings a diverse group of professionals from the political world including public officials, policymakers, diplomats, activists and journalists to lead seminars as well as pursue their own individual projects.

As a Fall 2020 Resident Fellow Addisu joins four other individuals including James Bennet, former Editorial Page Editor for The New York Times; Jelani Cobb, Staff Writer at the New Yorker Magazine; Scott Jennings, CNN Political Contributor, Republican Strategist, and Founding Partner of RunSwitch Public Relations; and Samantha Vinograd, CNN National Security Analyst.

(Courtesy photos)

“Each Fellows class brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to our students, ranging across different ideologies, professional sectors, and geographic areas,” the University stated on its website. “The IOP Pritzker Fellows Program presents a unique opportunity for political professionals to learn and grow.”

In addition to managing the historic 2020 Democratic Convention Addisu is also a Principal & Co-Founder of 50+1 Strategies, a California-based consulting firm, where he managed several prominent campaigns including Cory Booker’s 2013 Senate campaign as well as his 2020 presidential campaign, Gavin Newsom’s 2018 campaign for California governor, and working as National Director of Voter Outreach for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Addisu’s first got involved in politics working with John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign while he was a Yale Law School student.

Below is Addisu’s bio courtesy of the University of Chicago:

Addisu Demissie

Fall 2020 Resident Fellow

Democratic Strategist And Founding Principal Of 50+1 Strategies

Addisu Demissie is a Founding Principal of 50+1 Strategies with nearly 20 years of professional experience in political advocacy and campaign strategy. He has led campaigns at the national, state, and local level for electoral, nonprofit, and corporate clients. Addisu currently serves as Senior Advisor to the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee and to More Than A Vote, a non-profit organization dedicated to Black political empowerment co-founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

Addisu is an experienced campaign manager, having run successful campaigns for U.S. Senator Cory Booker in 2013 and California Governor Gavin Newsom in 2018 and, most recently, serving as the campaign manager for Booker’s run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. His first love is developing and implementing sophisticated community organizing programs, which he has done in three presidential campaigns for John Kerry in 2004, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008, and Clinton again in 2016.

Following President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Addisu was selected as the first National Political Director for the President’s political organization Organizing for America. Later that year, the Washington Post named him one of the “Ten Young Black Aides To Watch” in the Obama Administration. At OFA, he played a key role in mobilizing and coordinating grassroots support for the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal student loan reform, and the Affordable Care Act. Addisu also served as Senior Advisor to California Assembly member David Chiu’s 2011 mayoral campaign and as the general consultant for several California municipal, initiative, and independent expenditure campaigns during the 2012 and 2014 campaign cycles.

Addisu is a 2001 graduate of Yale University, 2008 graduate of Yale Law School, and a member of the state Bar of California. In his spare time, he likes to run in the California sun and watch sports of any and every kind, especially his hometown Atlanta Braves and adopted hometown Golden State Warriors. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife Jill.


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