Shayna Cherry is the director of state and local government affairs at American Progress. A Chicago native and political operative for more than 12 years, Cherry has worked in all facets of electoral and issue-based campaigns. Her experience includes policy at the local, state, and federal levels; strategic communications and planning; working in both public and government affairs; and community organizing.

Most recently, she worked as a strategic consultant, including aiding Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D) on various regulatory issues such as college access programs and retirement savings. In 2016, Cherry worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as the women’s vote director for the state of North Carolina. Previously, she was the director of federal affairs for former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), advising the governor and senior staff on all aspects of federal domestic policy, disaster preparedness, state budgetary issues, the Affordable Care Act, and economic development. Cherry worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a special assistant to the secretary on rural development, focusing on rural housing, economic development, and business development for local communities.

Cherry joined the 2008 Obama for America campaign in the New Hampshire primary and worked through eight other primaries across the country. She was also a deputy finance director for the 2006 campaign of former Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL). Prior to that, Cherry worked on multiple issue-based campaigns, including preserving Social Security and “Women’s Voices. Women Vote.”

Cherry earned her bachelor’s degree in communications at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and is currently enrolled at Georgetown University, pursuing a master’s degree in global strategic communications. She lives in Washington, D.C.