Former CEO of the Democratic National Committee and Binghamton University alumna Amy Dacey, ‘93, spoke on Thursday afternoon about her experience in U.S. politics and her time on campus.
Dacey, who double-majored in political science and history, now works as the executive vice president and managing director for MWWPR, a public relations firm based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on social change and LGBTQ rights.
She worked as CEO of the DNC from January 2014 until August 2016 after resigning on the same day as two other top DNC officials, Luis Miranda and Brad Marshall, amid former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and suspicion of the DNC’s involvement in favoring Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders. During her tenure, Dacey participated in an email conversation regarding Sanders that was released by WikiLeaks.
She said she’s been involved in politics since she was eight years old when she worked on her father’s campaign for school board. When she was in high school, her father ran for county office and lost by five votes. She explained that she was extremely disappointed by the loss, but her father’s dedication to the Democratic Party inspired her to chase her dream of successfully winning elections. As an adult, she has worked on multiple campaigns.
“I’ve lost a lot of races; I’ve won a lot of races,” Dacey said. “You have to wake up every morning and know that the fight goes on.”
Dacey’s talk focused on career path options, the Democratic Party’s ideology and answering students’ questions. Dacey said the youth vote is extremely powerful because when you get someone to vote at age 18, they’re much more likely to vote later in life.
Dacey reminisced about her time as an undergraduate student and encouraged attendees to try out new clubs and get involved in the local community. She particularly emphasized the breadth of opportunities for growth while working on local political campaigns.
“The biggest thing I can tell you is just not be afraid,” Dacey said.
Students asked questions pertaining to their personal career paths or about hers, including queries on how to expand a membership base and spread a message to more people for an organization. Dacey was also asked whether or not she has had to work with conservative clients, with whom she fundamentally disagrees.
Alexandra Cain, ‘16, is an international career consultant at the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. She wrote in an email that events like these are a great way for students to make connections with alumni, something that she experienced firsthand. Cain said when she was a student she met an alumnus at an alumni dinner who helped launch her career.
“The alum said that he knew someone at that office and would send them my resume,” Cain wrote. “He followed through and I was lucky enough to get a summer internship at the Westchester District Attorney’s Office because of making this connection.”
After participating in the discussion, George Blair, a senior double-majoring in political science and economics who has worked on a political campaign, said he was grateful for the opportunity to consult professional figures at the University.
“I think it’s really great that Binghamton has such a great alumni network, very high-profile people who’ve done a lot of great things,” Blair said.
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