Press Release

Black Economic Alliance Announces Broderick Johnson, Mattie McFadden-Lawson and Vicki Palmer as New Board Members

By Black Economic Alliance |

WASHINGTON – The Black Economic Alliance – a nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing Black economic progress that supported more than two dozen federal and statewide candidates during the midterms – announced today that it has appointed Broderick D. Johnson, Senior Of Counsel at Covington and Burling LLP, Mattie McFadden-Lawson, Co-Vice Chair of 50 X 50 Leadership Circle of the Women in Public Service Project, and Vicki R. Palmer, President of The Palmer Group LLC, to its Board of Directors. Johnson, McFadden-Lawson and Palmer will join current Board Co-chairs Dr. Tony Coles and Charles Phillips and Board Members Gerald Adolph, Robyn Coles, and Bruce Gordon in providing strategic guidance and helping to scale and shape the group’s overall 2019-2020 program.

“With their extensive experience across business, government, and culture Broderick, Mattie, and Vicki will help ensure our vision for advancing Black economic progress meets the challenges of this moment,” said Tony Coles, Co-Chair of the Black Economic Alliance. “We’re honored to have them all on our Board of Directors and are excited for their leadership in helping to develop and advocate for economic policies that empower Black communities.”

Broderick Johnson is a public policy and political strategist with more than three decades of leadership at the highest levels of government and the legal profession. Under President Obama, he served as Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary. Johnson was also the chairman of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force and continues to serve as the chairman of the MBKA Advisory Council, under the Obama Foundation. For President Clinton, Johnson served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. He was a senior advisor for the Obama-Biden Reelection Campaign and a Senior Advisor for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign. In the private sector, in addition to his current role at Covington, he was a partner at Bryan Cave LLP, co-founded the Collins Johnson Group, and was a Vice President for Government Relations at AT&T and Bell South corporations.  On Capitol Hill, he served as Chief Democratic Counsel for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Staff Director and Chief Democratic Counsel for the House Committee on the District of Columbia and was Assistant Counsel for the House Office of Legislative Counsel. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Mattie McFadden-Lawson has worked extensively in the arts, government, women’s leadership and political fundraising. She is a Co-Vice Chair of the 50 X 50 Leadership Circle of the Women in Public Service Project – Wilson Center for International Scholars. She currently sits on many boards including the Music Center, Los Angeles County Arts Commission (on leave), City Year Los Angeles, The Council Steering Campaign Committee of the National Museum of African American History and Culture/Smithsonian Institution and Grammy Museum Board. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts – John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. McFadden-Lawson earned a Master’s degree from Howard University and holds a M.P.A. degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Vicki R. Palmer is a leader in business, having worked in the Coca-Cola system for more than 25 years. At her time of retirement, she was the Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, and was responsible for overseeing the Treasury Department, which managed the company’s $10B multicurrency debt portfolio and its $4B pension plan and 401(k) plan investments, Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management. She also served as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team and liaison to the Board of Directors. Her experience includes leadership roles on the Board of Directors of First Horizon National Corporation, Haverty’s Furniture Company, The Coca-Cola “Scholars” Foundation, Woodward Academy, the Joseph Lowery Institute and Sophie’s Voice Foundation. She is a Lifetime Trustee at Spelman College and serves on the Emeriti Trustee Council at Rhodes College.

As Johnson, McFadden-Lawson and Palmer take on their new roles, inaugural Board members Marva Smalls, Global Head of Inclusion Strategy at Viacom and Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff at Nickelodeon, and Frederick O. Terrell, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Capital Markets at Credit Suisse, will transition to the Black Economic Alliance Advisory Board. The Black Economic Alliance Advisory Board brings together political leaders and strategists, corporate executives and entrepreneurs who are helping to guide the group’s work through the 2020 cycle. The Black Economic Alliance Advisory Board includes two dozen stakeholders from across the political spectrum.

“We are so grateful for Marva and Fred and the many contributions they made as part of our inaugural Board of Directors. We look forward to the many ways they will continue to support our mission on the Advisory Board,” Tony Coles added. “We are also grateful for the service of Maya Harris, Art Collins, and Karen Phillips and their significant contributions to the inaugural Board.”

Launched in 2018, the Black Economic Alliance is continuing to focus on fighting for economic policies that will help Black communities. Last cycle, 11 candidates endorsed by the Black Economic Alliance were elected to office, joining a historically diverse Congress this past January.