Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Heather McGhee ’01: on your left

You may have seen the talking head of Heather McGhee ’01 on MSNBC and other news outlets over the past few years, and you'll probably see more of her in the future. On Monday, McGhee took over as president of Demos, a liberal think tank and advocacy group where she's worked for the past deacde.

Founded in 2000, Demos (it's Greek for "people"; the organization styles the name with a line over the "e," but give me a break) has focused on voting rights, economic opportunity, and sustainabilty. It counts the 2009 Credit Card Act, which it says has saved consumers $20.8 billion per year, as one of its major successes.

The appointment of McGhee, a 33-year-old Berkeley law school grad who worked on domestic policy for the John Edwards campaign in 2008, was hailed by a Who's Who of the left. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts calls her "a champion for working families and a strong advocate for economic fairness and equality," and MSNBC host Chris Hayes says she is "hands down one of the most impressive, ferociously intelligent, committed, passionate people I've had the great fortune to meet in progressive politics."

McGhee herself waxes optimistic about her fellow millennials in a Demos video introducing her as president. "I think we are on the verge of something new and wonderful in America." she says. "Ours is a country where the ancestral lines of all the world's communities have met and been offered the audacious promise that out of many, we could become one people. . . . I believe that our generation—the largest, most diverse, most progressive and communitarian generation in America's history—will be the one to see that promise fulfilled."

Filed under Heather McGhee, Demos
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