Michelle D. Bernard

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Michelle D. Bernard is a lawyer, independent political analyst, pundit and opinion maker, social critic, author, columnist, public speaker, and president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy

An attorney by training, Michelle D. Bernard is a political analyst, pundit and opinion maker, social critic, author, columnist, and public speaker. Neither Democrat nor Republican, Ms. Bernard is fiercely independent in her political views.   Having once been a Democrat as well as a Republican, Ms. Bernard is an advocate of “transpartisanship” and believes that American democracy is best served when the electorate votes for candidates and issues rather than on the basis of political ideology or party affiliation.  Ms. Bernard is particularly interested in how national and local politics, policy, and elections affect matters of racial, social and gender justice, the economy, the digital divide, national security, terrorism and the military, and the advancement of democracy, economic liberty, and the human rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities globally.

An outspoken advocate of the human rights of people of color, women, and religious minorities globally, Ms. Bernard is, among other things, a passionate advocate of the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Additionally, she  has assisted in the development and implementation of training programs built on the pillars of democracy, women’s rights and religious freedom, political activism in a democracy, issues of governance, free markets, and non-governmental organizations.

As the president & CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy, she concentrates on domestic and foreign policy matters and provides commentary on topics as varied as presidential politics, the 2016 presidential election, various Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns and elections; the political participation and voting trends of African Americans, Latino’s, women and millennials, education reform and school choice, foreign policy and national security issues, and advancing democracy, economic liberty, and international human rights.  Additionally, she is a contributor to Sidewire and is a contributing columnist for Roll CallU.S. News & World Report, The 74, The Huffington Post and The Root. 

In March 2016, Mrs. Bernard was awarded a distinguished alumni achievement award from Howard University for outstanding post-graduate achievement in the fields of media, journalism and public policy.  In 2015, she was awarded the Anvil of Freedom Award for journalism and democracy by the University of Denver’s Edward W. and Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media. Later that year, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University announced that Ms. Bernard was being honored on the University’s Plaza of Heroines.  Also, later that year, Upscale magazine named Ms. Bernard as one of “25 Power Players … who have defied traditions, the odds, and more to get where they are today – at the tops of their games.” Ms. Bernard was named in the November 2014 issue of Essence magazine as a “Rising Star” on its annual “Money & Power List.”

Ms. Bernard has appeared regularly as a political analyst and media commentator on Al Jazeera’s The Third Rail,  CNN’s Smerconish; HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher; MSNBC’s Election 2008, 2012, and 2016 programming, AM with Joy, Hardball with Chris Matthews and MSNBC Live; and TV One’s News One Now with Roland Martin.  Additionally, in 2008, she joined The McLaughlin Group as a rotating panelist and appeared on that program until the program ended.   Ms. Bernard  is a regular guest commentator on National Public RadioIn 2009, Ms. Bernard co-created and hosted MSNBC’s education reform television special, About Our Children.

Ms. Bernard is the author of  “Naming the Sin: Are Churches Helping to Stop Domestic Violence or Enabling It,” Sojourner’s (December 2013), Moving America Toward Justice: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 1963-2013 (2013), Women’s Progress: How Women Are Wealthier, Healthier and More Independent Than Ever Before (2007) and is a contributing author to the National Urban League’s State of Black America 2009: Message to the President ( 2009) and Lifetime Network’s Secrets of Powerful Women: 25 Successful American Politicians Tell How They Got Where They Are – And What It’s Like (2010).   Additionally, Mrs.  Bernard is the author of numerous opinion editorials that appeared in The Washington Post’s She The People blog from its inception in 2012 as a platform for exploring the intersection of women and politics and culture, through its farewell in early January 2015.

Ms. Bernard has been featured in several publications, including Essence.com, Fast Company magazine, Jamaque magazine, The Legal Times, The NationThe New York Daily News, The Washington Business Journal, The Washington City Paper, The Washington Lawyer, The Washington Post, The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, and The Washington Times.  Additionally, she has appeared on BBC America, BBC Radio, CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, C-SPAN’s , Q&A with Brian Lamb and Washington Journal, MSNBC’s Decision ’08 with Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann and Morning Joe,  NBC’s Today show and Nightly News Weekend Edition, and TV One’s Washington Watch.  Also, she has been a guest of  PBS’s This is America with Dennis Wholey, XM Satellite Radio’s presidential election channel POTUS, various hosts with XM’s The Power, and several  Middle Eastern radio and cable television programs.

Ms. Bernard’s opinion editorials and commentaries have appeared in various publications, including, but not limited to,Roll Call, US News and World ReportThe Hill, The Huffington Post,  The Root, and The Washington Post’s She the People.

Ms. Bernard is a member of the journalism advisory board of The Sevent Four.  Additionally, she is a member of the International Women’s Forum of Washington, D.C. and served as its Leadership Foundation Liaison from 2013 to 2015.  She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Hampton University and the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Opportunity in Education.  Prior to founding the Bernard Center, among other things, Ms. Bernard was once a partner at the District of Columbia’s then Patton Boggs, LLP.

Ms. Bernard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from Howard University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Georgetown University Law Center.

Posts by Michelle D. Bernard

Blog Posts

Childhood Obesity

Children's Rights

Civil Rights

Congressional Elections

Criminal and Social Justice

Culture and Politics

Domestic and Economic Policy

Education and School Choice



Foreign Policy

In The News

International Children's Rights

International Women's Rights

Midterm Elections

Moms and Dads Know Best

News Releases


Policy Papers

Presidential Elections

Presidential Politics

Print Advertisements


Sidewire Chats

Smart Government


Television and Video


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Women's Rights