With more than 15 years of management and communications experience, Naomi Shelton is the director of K-12 Advocacy for UNCF and was recently appointed by Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve a four-year term as a member of the DC Public Charter School Board.
Shelton directs UNCF’s efforts to ensure more African American students will be college-ready and better prepared to complete college by driving sustainable education reforms that benefit students and empower communities to demand improvement. Shelton manages the K-12 Advocacy platform, with a focus on driving internal cross-functional collaboration and building external relationships.
Shelton previously served as interim secretary of the District of Columbia for Mayor Adrian Fenty’s Administration. Prior to being named interim secretary, Shelton served as chief of staff to the Office of the Secretary, Director of the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications, and special assistant to the chief of staff to the Mayor.
With a cross-functional expertise, Shelton has provided operational support, project and crisis management and public relations counsel to private, public and non-profit organizations. Notably, Shelton served as senior associate with Westin Rinehart, providing marketing and public relations services to clients such as Kwame Jackson of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and AmeriDream.
Before Westin Rinehart, Shelton served as both co-campaign manager and press secretary during a 2004 congressional campaign for the first African American female to run for office in Mississippi’s Second District.
Shelton started her career as deputy associate with Xenophon Strategies, Inc., a boutique public relations and crisis communications firm, managing projects, providing key media relations and crisis communications support surrounding the NTSB investigation of American Airlines Flight 587.
Shelton has a bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College.