Heather McGhee has joined SLU’s faculty as Distinguished Lecturer of Urban Studies. Ms. McGhee is the author of numerous publications and op-eds, including her 2021 book *The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. She is an influential voice in the media, having served as a contributor to NBC and regularly appearing on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, The Rachel Maddow Show and other syndicated programs, as well as a sought-after public speaker for audiences that include policymakers, philanthropists, civic organizations, students and community groups. She was a featured speaker at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in October 2017, and last spring received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address at the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy.

McGhee helped build the non-partisan think tank Dēmos, serving four years as president. Under her leadership, Dēmos infused its vision for debt-free college into the 2016 presidential contest, argued before the Supreme Court to protect voting rights, helped win pro-voter reforms in five states, and led research campaigns that successfully promoted wage increases for low-paid workers on federal contracts, as well as at McDonalds, Walmart and other chain retailers.

McGhee is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, among them the Pritzker Fellowship at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics (Fall 2019) and Yale University Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Program Distinguished Practitioner (Fall 2021). She also serves on the boards of several prestigious organizations including Open Society Foundations and Color of Change.

*The Sum of Us is a NYT bestseller that was longlisted for the American Library Association Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the National Book Award

 

Selected Publications

 

Recent News

B.A., American Studies, Yale University, 2001
J.D., University of California at Berkeley School of Law, 2009

Pritzker Fellowship at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics (Fall 2019)
Yale University Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Program Distinguished Practitioner (Fall 2021)

Economic Policy
Public Policy
Electoral Politics/Voting Rights
Racial Justice
Non-profit Leadership & Development

URB 651: The Power of Worker and Community Narratives

PADM 611: Social & Economic Policy in the U.S.

Board Chair, Color Of Change
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Open Society Foundations’ US Programs
Demos