CPF Former Fellow Shaniqua McClendon Headshot
Center for the Political Future

Spring 2021 Fellow

Shaniqua McClendon has worked in politics for a decade and currently serves as Vice President of Politics at Crooked Media. Prior to serving in this role, she was the Political Director for Crooked Media, home to the popular podcast, Pod Save America. In this role, Shaniqua led the creation of their voter engagement program, Vote Save America and volunteer engagement program, Adopt a State, which has educated millions of voters, recruited hundreds of thousands of volunteers and raised millions of dollars for progressive causes and candidates. Prior to Crooked Media, Shaniqua began her career as a White House Intern for President Barack Obama. She then went on to Capitol Hill, serving as a policy advisor to Senator Kay R. Hagan and Legislative Director to Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, where she spearheaded the creation of the first-ever Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.

Shaniqua is originally from North Carolina and earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC Chapel Hill, she developed a deep interest in how politicians and public policy shape people’s lives. She also earned a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Service.

Course: Political Disruptors

From Barack Obama and Donald Trump to the Tea Party and Black Lives Matter, this course explored the rise, impact, and implications of recent political individuals, movements, and institutions that have dramatically shaped American politics. Specifically, the course examined the circumstances that led to the rise of these political entities, how they leveraged their new influence, their successes and failures, where they are, and their lasting impact.


Spring 2021 Semester Recap

Group Photo of CPF Fellow Shaniqua McClendon’s Spring 2021 Study Group
Group Photo of CPF Fellow Shaniqua McClendon’s Spring 2021 Study Group

Anna Pederson, a graduate student studying Strategic Public Relations, said this about her experience in Shaniqua’s course:


“My experience with the Fellows seminar has been extremely enriching inside the classroom and outside. The fellows truly care about meeting with the students and helping them with their studies, as well as their careers. I got to dive into timely political topics and conversations that you don’t necessarily get to have in many other classrooms. Because of the intimate nature of the small classes, every student is able to participate in class discussions and contribute to the engaging topics. My favorite part was the variety of topics that we covered. Everything from the Tea Party and Trump to Occupy Democrats and Obama, it really gave a comprehensive look at recent political disruptors in U.S. politics. I also really loved hearing from career professionals, especially when they talked about how they didn’t always know where their careers were going when they were our age, but they worked hard and took opportunities where they found them. It’s been a really rewarding experience for my own career path.”


See what Spring 2021 Fellow Shaniqua McClendon said about her experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future in this video highlight.