Photo credit: Kerri Battles for Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
U.S. Voting Rights Activist
Stacey Abrams is the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District. She is the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and is the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. Stacey received her J.D. from the Yale Law School. She co-founded and acts as Senior Vice President of NOWaccount Network Corporation, a financial services firm. Stacey also co-founded Nourish, Inc., a beverage company with a focus on infants and toddlers, as well as other entrepreneurial ventures. Formerly, she was Deputy City Attorney for the City of Atlanta. Prior to her tenure at the City, she was Special Tax Counsel at Sutherland, with a focus on tax-exempt organizations, health care and public finance. In 2012, Stacey received the prestigious John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, which honors an elected official under 40 whose work demonstrates the impact of elective public service as a way to address public challenges. Stacey has been recognized nationally as one of “12 Rising Legislators to Watch” by Governing magazine and one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend for 2012 and 2013.
Abrams founded Fair Fight Action, an organization to address voter suppression, in 2018. Her efforts have been widely credited with boosting voter turnout in Georgia, including in the 2020 presidential election, where Joe Biden won the state, and in Georgia’s 2020–21 U.S. Senate election and special election, which gave Democrats control over the Senate. Abrams was the Democratic nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, becoming the first African-American female major-party gubernatorial nominee in the United States. In February 2019, Abrams became the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address. Abrams has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to promote non-violent change through voting.