Michele L. Watley is the founder and owner of The Griot Group LLC, a strategic communications and political advocacy consulting practice. She has substantive experience working with candidates across the US, representing a vast range of political ideologies and at all levels of government. Michele has been honored by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) as one of the 40 best and brightest campaign professionals under 40 years old, and was recently named one of Campaign & Election’s Rising Stars for 2017. Before joining the ACLU of Kansas, she served as the statewide political director for Chris Koster’s gubernatorial campaign where she worked to identify, connect with and mobilize various constituency groups to build a broad coalition of support as a senior member of the campaign team. She also served as the national African American outreach political director for Senator Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign, leading the political outreach efforts to increase the African American vote in a number of states. Michele began her professional journey as a carpenter apprentice with the Carpenter’s District Council Kansas City and Vicinity. She made the transition from a highly successful career in skilled labor to strategic communications, working with organizations including the Hague Conference on Private and International Law located in the Hague Netherlands and serving as senior staff for Missouri Secretary of State, Jason Kander. Michele earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Masters of Science in Organizational Development from Avila University. She also completed course work in Public International Law at Leiden University, The Hague.
Netroots Nation participation
- Netroots Nation 2017