Shakari Byerly, a UCLA Luskin School graduate in Public Policy, was honored last year as “One of the Trailblazers” of 2011 by the Los Angeles African American Women Political Action Committee (LAAAWPAC). The group’s annual Empowerment Banquet serves to acknowledge inspiring women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in Politics, Community Advocacy, Entertainment, the Arts and Next Generation Leadership.
“It was an honor to share the podium with others who have a strong track record of working on behalf of those of color,” Byerly said. “Personally, I strive not only to do work that ameliorates social and economic inequality, but to be a voice for women.”
In 2005, Byerly received her master’s degree in Public Policy from the Luskin School of Public Affairs, with a concentration in Regional Economic Development and Education Policy. Upon graduation, Byerly served as Policy Analyst at the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, a research institute focused on political and electoral reform. To that end, she then became Regional Field Director for the California Democratic Party during the 2004 Presidential campaign. Byerly has advocated for numerous candidates across the nation who seek local and statewide office, including President Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign.
Byerly possesses more than 13 years of experience in policy-making and political strategy.
Currently, she is Vice President of the firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, from where she continues to make an impact on public policy-oriented research. She focuses on issues such as healthcare and political reform; public finance and education finance measures; community and consumer satisfaction; and land, water and wildlife conservation.
“One of challenges of our time is learning how to bridge ideological and political divides,” Byerly said. “We need to identify people’s core values in public decision-making and then we can enhance civic engagement.”