Sujata Tejwani, Founder and President of Sujata Strategies, is a well-known leader in the progressive movement working across aspects of the movement – from the Democratic party and candidates across the country, to progressive issue advocacy and grassroots community-based organizations, to donors and foundations. Sujata uses her experience to guide movement organizations and leaders as well as their staff and members to adapt, thrive, win and succeed in the fast-paced, fast-changing world of advocacy and politics. She’s focused her work on helping her clients be more strategic in their work for the short term AND the long term. She advises and mentors rising stars of our movement as they grow into leadership roles, paying special attention to those working in communities of color.
Sujata has been working in the movement for 20 years and helping clients for 15 years. A first-generation Indian-American, Sujata was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, has a degree in International Studies from Vassar College, and lives in New York City, where she enjoys all things pop culture – from TV to movies, books to Broadway. Her love of travel has taken her to dozens of countries in almost every continent and almost every single state in the union – she’s still waiting for travel to Utah, Nebraska, and the Dakotas to finish the list!
Among her many roles, she notably served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee, the Director of the Political Leadership Project for Wellstone Action, as a Campaign Advisor for EMILY’s List in the 2012 and 2013 campaign cycles, was Senior Election Advisor for the Ohio Democratic Party during 2010 and 2008 Get Out The Vote efforts, managed the Unity ’09 coalition in the first two years of the Obama Administration, worked for the Congressional Independent Expenditure campaign in 2010, managed battleground state direct mail and phones for Kerry-Edwards 2004, was Deputy Campaign Manager in Sen. Max Cleland’s 2002 campaign, and even conducted self- and opposition research for Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee in the early part of her career. She has also served as an advisor to funders of progressive causes including the Atlantic Philanthropies, Corridor Partners, and the Ms. Foundation.
She is known as a leading facilitator and trainer of progressive candidates, campaign staff, and organizers in the country (and the world!) She has trained more than 10,000 candidates, staff and organizational leaders in the last decade.
Closest to her heart are efforts to support and grow new progressive leaders – particularly among young activists in communities of color – and she serves as mentor and advisor to many of these promising future leaders to change the face of the progressive movement in the U.S. Her work with organizations to recruit and hire exceptional staff and create new, more effective strategies has helped countless progressive efforts – including the fight for health care, reproductive rights, income equality, workers’ rights and electing more women and people of color to office.
Sujata serves on the Board of Directors for UltraViolet, a community mobilized to fight sexism and expand women’s rights from politics and government to media and pop culture.