David Axelrod

Axelrod_David_In a career spanning four decades, campaign strategist David Axelrod has influenced the outcomes of more than 150 Democratic campaigns, many of which were considered landmark victories. But in 2008 he orchestrated his most historic campaign, helping elect the first African-American as the 44th president of the United States.

This extraordinary campaign was sandwiched between two other election runs conducted for Barack Obama — first in 2004 when the then state senator from Illinois engaged Axelrod, at that time the head of the Chicago consulting firm AKPD Message and Media, to help him win a U.S. senate seat; and once more in his 2012 reelection bid.

Axelrod accompanied President Obama to the White House and served as his closest advisor until 2011. Currently, he is the founder/director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago; he also provides political commentary for CNN. His bestselling memoir, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, was released in 2015.

Axelrod’s passion for politics is guided by a progressive liberalism and an idealism he claims was instilled as a young child after hearing an inspiring speech by John F. Kennedy. His first significant experience in race-related campaigning came in 1987 for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

Axelrod holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago.

His address, part of the SU Speaker Series sponsored by the Washington University Political Review, is titled “America’s Future: Insights from a Presidential Adviser.”

PLEASE NOTE: Seating for the public may be limited. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Listen to Axelrod’s podcast