DNC Chooses Old Hand Seema Nanda as New CEO

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Washington, DC – With the political environment warming up with the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, and 2020 Presidential elections just a couple of years away, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) brought Seema Nanda as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in its efforts to reshuffle DNC Chair Tom Perez’s team. 

Nanda, who will manage the day-to-day operations of the organization, is not new blood in the DNC, but she is a close confidant of Perez and served on his transition team. Nanda was also Chief of Staff to then-Secretary Perez at the US Department of Labor. While at the Labor Department, she also worked as Deputy Solicitor and as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to Perez, managing a portfolio that included immigration, workforce development, and internal management issues.

Most recently, Nanda has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, where she oversees strategy and manages day-to-day operations. 

Nanda Reacts

Reacting to the announcement, Nanda said, “This position is the opportunity of a lifetime, for which I am incredibly honored and humbled.” The incoming DNC CEO Nanda continued, “People are hurting all across our country. And I believe that Democrats are offering the positive solutions so desperately-needed right now – solutions forged by the strength of our diversity, the rigor of our ideas, and the decency of our values. I am grateful to Chairman Perez and Mary Beth for selecting me, and I look forward to joining my new DNC colleagues in the fight for our nation’s values and future.”

Earlier this year, in an op-ed titled “The fight for civil rights is also about economic opportunity,” on The Biden Forum, Nanda wrote, “We often compartmentalize the daunting challenges facing this country. One fight is about taxes. Another is about health care. A third is about the tension between corporations and workers. The truth is that all of these challenges are deeply intertwined.” 

“Providing health care to all is not only about keeping us well, but also about our economic well-being. Similarly, civil rights are not just about legal freedoms, but also removing obstacles that prevent people from climbing the ladder of economic opportunity, or even getting a foothold in the first place,” reflected Nanda.

DNC Comments

Commenting on the new avatar of Nanda at the DNC, Perez said, “I’m beyond excited that Seema is bringing her talent and brilliance to the DNC.

Reiterating the roles played by Nanda under his leadership at different times, Perez added, “I’ve seen firsthand Seema’s exceptional ability to lead. She is a seasoned manager who has a proven track record of success and a well-documented history of fighting for our Democratic values, whether it’s on immigration, civil rights or leveling the playing field for our workers. As we head toward such a crucial election, I’m one hundred percent certain that Seema’s leadership will help the DNC capitalize on the unprecedented grassroots energy and enthusiasm surging throughout the country.”

On the selection process, Interim DNC CEO Mary Beth Cahill said, “If there’s anything I’ve learned during my search for a permanent CEO, there’s no shortage of qualified and passionate leaders in our party. Seema undoubtedly fits the bill,” adding, “With Seema joining our senior leadership team, I know that the DNC will be in good hands.”

Welcoming the appointment, Phil Kim, Director of AAPI Engagement said, “The Democratic Party remains committed to diversity at all levels of leadership, and hiring Seema as our CEO is the latest example of living one of our core values. She is ‘the first Asian-American to head the DNC in recent memory,’ according to Glamour magazine.”

According to the DNC statement, Nanda’s experience includes practicing labor and employment law and served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Nanda is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Brown University and a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

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