Rebecca Thompson is one of the leading experts and voices in the country on women of color, especially black women, in politics. Since getting her start at just 14 years old when she worked for a woman elected official in her hometown of Detroit, her personal mission and life’s work has been to change the face of power by informing, inspiring and supporting women to run for office so they can fulfil their purpose and change the world. She recently joined Deliver Strategies, one of the leading progressive direct mail firms in the country, as a Vice President and previously served as the Run to Win Director for EMILY’s List, leading the largest candidate recruitment and training program in the organization’s history (since the 2016 election more than 25,000 women have signed up to run for office). She has travelled the world training candidates to run for office and is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, EMILY’S List, VoteRunLead and numerous other leadership programs. Rebecca is a national trainer for ElectHer, which trains young women to run for office and has served on the National Leadership Team of Political Parity, a bipartisan group of national women’s organizations dedicated to getting more women elected to office. She has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Essence Magazine, and numerous other publications.
Rebecca was inspired to create “Changing the Face of Power” – the first and only podcast in the country dedicated to inspiring black women to run for office – after losing her election for state representative by just 6 votes on Election Day. She wants to teach women candidates everything she learned the hard way so they can run and win the first time. In her spare time, you can find Rebecca glued to her Kindle, cuddling with her dog, hiking, or enjoying a long nap. She recently completed a journey around the world where she lived in Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Serbia and she currently resides in Silver Spring, MD.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com.
Featured Winner Interview:
- What does being a 2018 AAPC 40 Under 40 Award winner mean to you?
Being recognized as a 40 Under 40 Award winner means an opportunity to be recognized by my peers. As consultants, we spend a lot of time working behind the scenes spending countless hours coaching and working with candidates, often for work that goes beyond the scope of our actual product (in my case – direct mail). It’s especially great to be recognized by people in the industry that I admire.
- What’s next for you this year?
I’m especially excited for the opportunity to be doing so much work in my home state of Michigan this cycle. As a former candidate for state representative there, I still feel deeply connected to many of the races and candidates so it’s great to be able to combine the work I love with the state I love.
- Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
There are a few women in particular that I admire: my boss (and Senior Partner at Deliver Strategies) Amy Pritchard and Carol McDonald of Meridian Solutions/76 Words. I would have never thought about pursuing a career in direct mail had it not been for Amy. It combines my love of creative and strategy and provides me with the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing candidates in the country. She has also built her career around a life she loves that includes splitting her time between DC, Boston and Rwanda (my goal is to live between DC, Detroit and Thailand). I also admire Carol because as one of the few TV consultants who is a woman of color, she has built a business and life that is deeply rooted in her values and that allows her to build community into everything she does.
- Tell us about something you’re most proud of accomplishing in your professional career.
One of my proudest accomplishments both personally and professionally was quitting my job, selling everything I owned, and buying a one-way ticket to Malaysia. Over the next 6 months, I also lived in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Serbia. I’m especially proud of letting go of who I thought I was supposed to be to make room for who I actually am. I’ve spent the past 18 months on a journey to literally find myself which has helped transform my life and career for the better.
- To what do you credit your success at such a young age?
It is no understatement to say that I am blessed and highly favored. Any success that I’ve achieved so far is due to God and the fact that I’m walking in my purpose.
- What advice would you give to a young professional who has their eye on being a future 40 Under 40 Award winner?
If you do great work, you’ll be recognized so don’t focus on getting awards or accolades. Sometimes that also means raising your own hand and nominating yourself so don’t wait for others to be the only ones to recognize your value. Choose and celebrate yourself.