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#SPA80for80: Brianne Nadeau, SPA/MPP ’06

Brianne Nadeau

Recently elected as Washington DC’s Ward 1 councilmember, Brianne Nadeau brings to the office a commitment to community activism and expertise in communications and advocacy.

The first-term councilmember-elect rode to victory through a door-to-door campaign focused on the community priorities of affordable housing, better schools and ethical leadership. Knocking on doors across Ward 1 of Washington, DC, Nadeau first surprised political outsiders by unseating four-term councilmember Jim Graham in the Democratic primary last April. In the lead-up to the citywide election in November, Nadeau continued running a campaign of community engagement, convening a series of community conversations giving citizens the opportunity to work toward a shared vision for the ward.

Even after winning the citywide election in November, Nadeau has no plans to govern from behind a desk. She plans to continue the community conversations and regular coffee talk series as councilmember.

Nadeau’s interest in politics began at age 11 when she volunteered on a campaign for school board and it was strengthened during her undergraduate studies at Boston College, where she received a BA in political science, and during her time at the School of Public Affairs (SPA). In 2006 she earned her master’s of public policy concentrating on Women, Public Policy, and Political Leadership. Throughout her studies, Nadeau consistently engaged in leadership activities, including on her local neighborhood watch and in the neighborhood association. She also maintained a full-time position at Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life training student leaders. Immediately following her studies at SPA, she was elected to two terms on her Advisory Neighborhood Commission, during which time she worked on Congressman John Sarbanes’ first Congressional campaign and later in his office on Capitol Hill.

Nadeau is an active member of the local Jewish community. Seeking to empower voices within that community, she worked until the end of November as vice president at the public relations firm Rabinowitz Communications. She is a board member of Jews United for Justice and is active in the D.C. chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. 


"I’m looking forward to getting to work for the people of the District on critical issues like affordable housing and education. As a proud SPA graduate I hope to inspire other future leaders to run for office as well."