Michelle D. Bernard

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Michelle D. Bernard is a lawyer, political and policy analyst, media commentator, 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 and policy analyst, media commentator, social critic, author, columnist, and public speaker, providing commentary on topics as varied as presidential politics, the historic 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and elections, and the path to the White House in 2016;  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 the human rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East.  Additionally, Ms. Bernard is the president & CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy where she concentrates on domestic and foreign policy matters, a columnist for Roll Call, U.S. News & World Report, and The Seventy Four, and a contributor to The Huffington Post and The Root.  Fiercely independent in her political views, Ms. Bernard, an advocate of transpartisanship, 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, 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 and women globally, Ms. Bernard is, among other things, a passionate advocate of the significance of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and 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.

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, Mrs. Bernard 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.  The Estlow Lecture series and the Anvil of Freedom Award were created to “offer recognition and honor to individuals whose careers demonstrate true leadership and commitment to democratic freedoms, ethics and integrity and recognize those who work to see journalism reach and maintain the highest standards.”  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 which honors women role models who have made an impact on their families, communities and society.  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 appears regularly as a political analyst or contributor on Al Jazeera America’s Third Rail; CNN’s Smerconish; HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher; MSNBC’s Election 2016 programming, Hardball with Chris Matthews and  MSNBC Live; The McLaughlin Group and TV One’s NewsOne Now with Roland Martin.  Ms. Bernard has guest hosted The Michael Smerconish Program on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s POTUS Channel and is a regular guest commentator on National Public Radio and WAMU’s The Diane Rehm Show.  In 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 TimesThe 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 Radio, CNN’s Smerconish and 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, Morning Joe,  NBC’s Today show and Nightly News Weekend Edition, and TV One’s NewsOne Now with Roland Martin and Washington Watch with Roland Martin.  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 the G8 Summit magazine, The Hill.com, The Huffington Post.com, US News and World ReportThe Washington Post’s She the People, the New York Post, the Philadelphia Daily News, The Root, and The Washington Times.

Ms. Bernard is a member of the journalism advisory board of The Seventy 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.  Additionally, 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 for Women, Politics & Public Policy and joining the Independent Women’s Forum, Ms. Bernard was a partner at the District of Columbia’s Squire Patton Boggs (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

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

Print Advertisements


Smart Government


Television and Video


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Women's Rights