Washington, DC—Emerge, the nation’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announced today that it has named A’shanti Gholar as its next president. In this role, Gholar will lead the organization and steer its overall strategy and direction, overseeing a national staff as well as affiliates across the country. This announcement comes after an extensive, nationwide search for candidates across the country.
“The board and I are extremely confident that A’shanti is the right person to lead Emerge into the future,” said Rashmi Yadav Marya, Emerge’s National Board Chair. “She is a highly respected political leader and has a deep understanding of the organization. We are extremely fortunate to have her as our next president.”
Gholar is a nationally recognized political strategist, who most recently served as Emerge’s Political Director, responsible for strengthening national partnerships and working closely with state affiliates to strategically recruit for key seats, as well as directing the organization’s overall political strategy. Prior to her role at Emerge, she has served in leadership positions at the Democratic National Committee, United Way and as a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Labor in the Obama Administration.
Gholar was also recently named as one of She the People’s 20 for 2020, a list of women of color in politics who will play an impactful role in the 2020 elections. She was featured as a political influencer in CQ Roll Call Magazine, named a top woman of color in policy by Walker’s Legacy, and was awarded the “Changemaker” award by African American Women in Business Careers. In addition, Gholar serves as an Advisory Board Member for First Ask, an Expert Advisor for Forward Majority Action and as a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for OxFam America. She is also the founder of The Brown Girls Guide to Politics, which was named one of the top podcasts to prepare people for the 2020 election by Marie Claire.
“I am thrilled to accept the position of President of Emerge and build on the momentum that the organization has built during the past few years,” said Gholar. “The work that Emerge does to prepare Democratic women to run for office is critical to safeguarding our democracy and protecting our rights. Currently, women are still underrepresented at every level of government, and the work that Emerge does is making significant progress in changing that. I am excited to take on this role and lead the organization down a path to an even brighter future—one where our decision-making bodies are more reflective of the people they represent.”
Gholar will step into the President role in February 2020.
Emerge is also happy to announce that our Interim President, Amanda Renteria, will be serving as a Senior Advisor during the transition and will then rejoin the national board.
“We want to thank Amanda for her service during a key moment of transition for Emerge,” said Yadav Marya. “Under her leadership, Emerge has trained a record number of women and achieved a record revenue year. Emerge is perfectly positioned to make 2020 even more successful. We are very excited to welcome her back to the national board of directors.”
In 2019, 213 Emerge alums were elected to public office. Currently, there are 740 Emerge alums serving in office across the country and the organization has trained more than 4,000 women since it was founded 15 years ago. With hundreds more set to run in 2020, the organization is poised perfectly to open this next chapter and continue its important work to change the face of politics in America.
For more information on Emerge, please visit www.emergeamerica.org.