A Woman’s Place Is in the House and Senate and beyond, Thanks to Her
Get to Know the 2017 National Convention Speakers
Name: Celinda Lake
Occupation: President, Lake Research Partners
Education: Smith College, University of Michigan, and University of Geneva
She’s the woman behind so many influential women in politics, crunching the numbers and figuring out how to get women candidates and women’s issues into the halls of power. And you can meet her at the 2017 AAUW National Convention.
Celinda Lake is a prominent pollster and political strategist for progressives. She currently serves as the president of Lake Research Partners. Lake’s polling and strategic advice has helped such candidates as Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Governor Bob Wise (D-WV) defeat incumbent Republicans, and her expertise guided Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) to victory, making him the first Senate candidate in Alaska to oust the incumbent in 50 years.
Lake has focused on women candidates and women’s concerns, having worked for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Houston Annise Parker (D), and helping more than a dozen women be elected to the House and Senate.
Lake worked for the largest independent expenditure to take back the House and has been a key player in campaigns launched by progressive groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, VoteVets, Human Rights Campaign, and EMILY’s List. Lake coauthored the book What Women Really Want with Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, which examines the way women are changing the political landscape in America, and she also served as pollster for then-Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-DE) 2008 presidential bid. She worked with innovative message projects that helped redefine language on the economy, inequality, big money in politics, climate change, public schools, teachers, and criminal justice reform.
Lake, a native of Montana — born and raised on a ranch — and one of the political world’s most avid whitewater rafters, holds a master’s degree in political science and survey research from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and a certificate in political science from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Massachusetts, where she graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Smith College Medal for distinguished alumnae.