On Wednesday, the Barack Obama re-election campaign named a 31-year-old former field director for the NAACP to be African-American Vote Director for the campaign’s Operation Vote outreach effort.
Stefanie Brown, formerly the national field director for the NAACP in Baltimore, will direct the campaign’s black voter outreach efforts. Operation Vote is the campaign’s national drive to get black, female, Latino, LGBT, veteran and young voters to the polls. Obama won an overwhelming majority of black votes in 2008, and most experts believe he’ll need a similar groundswell among African-Americans to win in November.
Brown, a graduate of Howard University, served as both national field director and head of the NAACP’s Youth & College division. As national field director, she is credited with leading an effort that the NAACP says registered more than 200,000 voters for the 2008 and 2010 elections.
The Ohio native and former program coordinator for an HIV/AIDS prevention program focusing on at-risk black and Hispanic youth in Cleveland, was named one of Essence.com’s “Top 10 Emerging Political Leaders of 2010” and was among Ebony magazine’s “Top 30 Young Leaders under the Age of 30” in 2007.
“Stefanie has dedicated her life to empowering people of color to organize and advocate for justice and equality in their communities,” Obama campaign Manager Jim Messina said in a statement Wednesday. “She is a natural fit for a campaign who’s fueled by its grassroots strength. Stefanie’s youth, commitment and proven ability to mobilize and energize voters will be an invaluable asset to the campaign.”
The campaign also released a statement from Brown:
“Words cannot express how humbled and excited I am to join the Obama For America Campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. African-American voters were among the president’s strongest supporters in 2008 and I am thrilled to help build that fervor again for 2012. The president is going to need our community more than ever this year and I look forward to working together to win a victory on November 6th.”