Jamal R. Watkins serves as the Vice President of Civic Engagement at the NAACP, leading the Association’s efforts to maximize the African-American community’s participation and representation in our democracy.
Mr. Watkins previously served as National Outreach Director for the AFL-CIO. In this role, he was responsible for strengthening and growing national strategic partnerships with the labor movement across a range of priority campaigns and program work.
Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Mr. Watkins held leadership positions in a number of organizations dedicated to community organizing and civil and human rights. These include Deputy National Political Director at Service Employees International Union; Chief of Staff at the Center for Social Inclusion; Managing Director for Campaigns for Amnesty International, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization; and, Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director of City Year Los Angeles, a national non-profit AmeriCorps organization.
Mr. Watkins has worked in several distinct arenas, including politics, campaigns, communications, education, human resources, and fundraising. He played key roles as a National Recruiter for the DNC, Fundraising Canvass Director for Grassroots Campaign, Florida State Director of the Young Voter Alliance during the 2004 Presidential Election, Regional Coordinator on the “Yes on Proposition 79” Campaign for Health Access of California, and most recently developing a voter mobilization and engagement field strategy for the 2014 mid-term election cycle.
A native of California and a resident of Washington, D.C., Mr. Watkins earned his B.A. in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science, at Stanford University and completed graduate-level work at New York University for Speech and Interpersonal Communication. As a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., his motto is “onward and upward.”