Michelle Bernard

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Michelle Bernard
BornMichelle Denise Bernard
(1963-07-30) July 30, 1963 (age 55)
Washington, D.C., USA
ResidencePotomac, Maryland
EducationGeorgetown University Law Center
Howard University
OccupationJournalist, author, lawyer, columnist
Political partyIndependent

Michelle Denise Bernard (born July 30, 1963, Washington, D.C.)[1] is an American journalist, political analyst, lawyer, author, and President and CEO of the Bernard Center For Women, Politics & Public Policy.


Bernard graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in political science. She has a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Early life and career[edit]

She was a partner at the lobbyist and law firm Patton Boggs. In 2000, she was a member of the Bush-Cheney Presidential Inaugural Committee. She was formerly President and CEO of Independent Women's Forum and Independent Women's Voice.[2] She was the chair for the District of Columbia's Redevelopment Land Agency, which negotiated the public-private financing of the District's MCI Arena.[3][4]

Bernard is frequently a political and legal analyst for MSNBC, Al Jazeera,[5] CNN,[6] NPR and The McLaughlin Group. She is a columnist for Roll Call;[7] and also a contributor for 'The Seventy-Four',[8][9]The Root, The Washington Post's[10] "She the People," and the Huffington Post.[11]

She is an Independent.[3]

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Hampton University and sits on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Opportunity in Education and the Executive Board of the International Women's Forum of Washington, D.C. where she is the Leadership Foundation Liaison.[12][13][14] Additionally, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence,[15] and a speaker for the Washington Speaker's Bureau.[16]

Her family heritage is Jamaican American, saying in an interview with Bill Steigerwald, "My parents are American citizens, but they come from Jamaica. I was raised with very American and Jamaican values. In our culture, we have a very strong sense of pride and of family honor and of self-reliance."[17]


  • Bernard was granted the 2016 Howard University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in the Fields of Media, Journalism and Public Policy.[18]
  • Bernard was named the Spring 2015 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics by Iowa State University on March 23, 2015.[19]
  • She received the Anvil of Freedom Award for Journalism and Democracy from the University of Denver's Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media on January 23, 2015.[20]
  • Also, she was named in the November 2014 of Essence Magazine as a Rising Star in their Money & Power list.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Bernard was married to CNN correspondent Joe Johns until the couple divorced in 2008.[22][23][24][25] Bernard remarried in 2014 and lives in Potomac, Maryland with her husband Keith Bell, as well as two children from her previous marriage.[26]


  • Bernard, Michelle D. (2013), Moving America Toward Justice: The Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, 1963-2013, The Donning Company Publishers. ISBN 978-1-57864-849-8
  • Bernard, Michelle D. (2007), Women’s Progress: How Women Are Wealthier, Healthier, and More Independent Than Ever Before, Spence Pub. ISBN 1-890626-69-4


  1. ^ "Bernard, Michelle". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 65–67. ISBN 9780824211219.
  2. ^ Ronnee Schreiber, 'Pro-Women, Pro-Palin, Antifeminist: Conservative Women and Conservative Movement Politics', in Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, & American Politics After Bush, Gillian Peele, Joel D. Aberbach (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 135
  3. ^ a b C-SPAN Q&A with Michelle Bernard. C-SPAN. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11
  4. ^ "Women and Men, Work and Power". fastcompany.com. February 1998. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  5. ^ Bernard, Michelle Is the US Election Season Too Long?. Al Jazeera. June 6, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015
  6. ^ Bernard, Michelle Smerconish transcript CNN.14 June 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014
  7. ^ Bernard, Michelle Masthead CQ Roll Call. Roll Call March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016
  8. ^ Bernard, Michelle The74million.org Journalism Advisory Board. www.the74million.org. June 23, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015
  9. ^ "When Parents Are Arrested for 'Stealing' a Public Education". YouTube. 3 August 2015. Archived from the original on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  10. ^ Bernard, Michelle Congress cannot ignore violence against women in Syria. Washington Post September 6, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2014
  11. ^ Bernard, Michelle Amma Asante's 'Belle' May Lead to Real Freedom for Women Around the World. Huffington Post. May 14, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014
  12. ^ Bernard, Michelle (23 January 2014). "HU to Host Town Hall Meeting". hamptonu.edu. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  13. ^ Bernard, Michelle (12 December 2014). "ABOUT THE COALITION". opportunityined.org. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  14. ^ Bernard, Michelle (12 December 2014). "IWFDC Our Members - IWFDC". iwfdc.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  15. ^ Bernard, Michelle (12 December 2014). "ABCTE". abcte.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  16. ^ Bernard, Michelle. "Michelle Bernard - Washington Speaker's Bureau". www.washingtonspeakers.com. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  17. ^ Bill Steigerwald, "Michelle Bernard Looks for the Right McCain" "Anderson Free Press" August 29, 2008 http://www.andersonfreepress.net/node/11642[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Charter Day Howard University". howard.edu. 1 February 2016. Archived from the original on 11 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  19. ^ "The Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics". cattcenter.las.iastate.edu. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Anvil of Freedom". estlow.org. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Risings Stars: Michelle Bernard". essence.com. 2 October 2014.
  22. ^ Bernard, Michelle (3 October 2013). "Single Mothers Are Not Responsible For A Decline In Newspaper Sales". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  23. ^ Cook, John (9 April 2009). "Softball Interview Question Leads to Awkward Answer". Gawker. Archived from the original on 29 August 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Michelle Bernard: 'The Republican Party Needs to Find Its Soul'". 9 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  25. ^ Hobbs, Christie (18 October 2005). "IWF Names New President". Independent Women's Forum. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  26. ^ "Michelle Bernard meets with the LNP editorial board". Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2016.

External links[edit]