Buffy Wicks is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. She served as the national director of Operation Vote for the Obama for America campaign—a key leadership role in the executive management team of President Barack Obama’s re-election effort. As head of Operation Vote, Buffy spearheaded the campaign’s strategy to communicate with and mobilize core demographic voters, including African Americans, Latinos, young people, and women. She worked collaboratively with her team and fellow senior staff to devise innovative strategies across departments—including field, digital, earned media, paid media, messaging, political, and analytics—to engage the campaign’s base.
Wicks has a long history in grassroots mobilization, political organizing, and civic engagement. She served as the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for President Obama. In this capacity, she served as the White House liaison for key stakeholders throughout the country in an effort to pass the president’s legislative priorities such as health care reform and financial regulation. In 2009 Wicks was tapped by then-President-elect Obama to lead the Renew America Together effort, a national call to service during the Presidential Inauguration.
She was one of the first people hired by the president’s 2008 campaign and served in a variety of roles, including California field director and Missouri state director. She also helped to develop the national grassroots field strategy for the campaign, which was considered a model of effective organizing.
Wicks previously worked in the labor movement, fighting for better health care and wages for disenfranchised workers. She is originally from California and graduated with a double major in political science and history from the University of Washington.