Amanda K. Edwards is an attorney and native Houstonian passionate about empowering communities through solutions, engagement, and public service. Edwards recently concluded her bid for the United States Senate in the Texas Democratic Primary. From 2016-2020, Edwards served as the Houston City Council Member in At-Large Position 4. During her tenure as a City Council Member, Edwards served as Vice-Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee. She also served on the Economic Development Committee and the Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Committee. Edwards currently serves as the President & CEO of The Community Based Solutions Firm, and she is the founder and Board President of Be The Solution: Community Empowerment Organization.
While on City Council, Edwards initiated and led the Mayor’s Technology & Innovation Task Force to cultivate a more robust innovation economy in Houston and now sits on the Houston Exponential Board of Directors. She led the High Capacity Transit Task Force for the Houston Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council. Edwards also launched and led Houston’s Women and Minority-Owned Business Task Force to assist women and minority business owners with gaining access to capital. She also led national efforts to address the future of work. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Edwards mobilized hundreds of volunteers to aid residents in Harvey recovery efforts. Finally, Edwards launched numerous programmatic efforts ranging from an annual senior conference to town halls under her Community Empowerment Signature Series to empower residents to be the solution in their communities.
Edwards attended Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University. She served as president of the undergraduate student body and was later inducted into the Emory University Hall of Fame. While in Atlanta, Edwards gained valuable community building and public policy experience working in community development corporations as a Community Building & Social Change Fellow as well as in the Georgia Legislature.
After graduating from Emory, Edwards worked for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in Washington, D.C. Edwards then earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Edwards served as a Criminal Justice Institute student attorney and was awarded the Elaine Osborne Jacobson Award for serving underserved populations in the healthcare law arena.
Compelled by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Edwards relocated to New Orleans. While in New Orleans, she served as a judicial law clerk for Federal District Court Judge Ivan Lemelle and founded Project NOW: The New Orleans Writing Project, which inspired New Orleans youth to empower themselves and their community through the power of writing.
Edwards returned to Houston with a broadened perspective and interest in impacting her community. She practiced law for years as a municipal finance lawyer, where she solved complex issues relating to tax-exempt bond financings, public-private partnerships and non-profit organizations. Edwards has practiced law at both Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP.
Edwards has served as President of the Board of Directors for Project Row Houses and numerous other boards, including the National League of Cities and Texas Lyceum. In addition to her service on the Boards of Directors for Houston Exponential and Be The Solution: Community Empowerment Organization, Edwards serves on the Advisory Council of Accelerator for America. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., as well as the Houston Chapter of The Links, Inc. Edwards is a For(bes) the Culture Contributor and has been featured by multiple media outlets, including ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business, Essence, Black Enterprise, The Root, The New York Times, NPR, Politico, and The Texas Tribune, among others. While Edwards has received many accolades for her legal and community work, she finds empowering communities to be her greatest reward.