Education

Mayor Sharon Pratt

Title: Founding Director, Institute for Politics, Policy and History, University of the District of Columbia

Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt serves as the founding director of the University of the District of Columbia’s Institute for Politics, Policy and History.  Pratt earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1965 from Howard University. She attended Howard University Law School where she earned her J.D. During her undergraduate years, Pratt was inducted into the National Political Science Honor Society and served as a Falk Fellow focused on Home Rule/Statehood in the District of Columbia. While at Howard Law School, she served as articles editor of the Law Review. In 1972, Pratt became a law professor at the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. and worked there until 1976 when she became the associate general counsel for the Potomac Electric Power Company, known as PEPCO. She eventually became vice president of consumer affairs and then public policy at PEPCO in 1983. She was Pepco’s first woman to be elected an officer. In 1990, Pratt was elected mayor of Washington D.C., the first African American female to hold such a position in the United States. In 1995, Pratt served as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. From 1997 to 2001, she served as president of The Center, a start-up digital platform enabling B to B transactions with Africa. In 2002, Pratt began Pratt Consulting, working with companies, nonprofits and governments. She also serves as founding chairman of Home Preservation Exchange, a nonprofit focused on stabilizing neighborhoods by acquiring troubled mortgages.

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