Yvette Simpson

Democracy for America

Yvette is a lawyer, MBA, and former Cincinnati City Council President Pro Tempore. She served as the Federal Electoral Manager for Democracy for America during the second half of 2018 helping to flip control of the US House with historic victories electing the most progressive and diverse coalition of candidates in America’s history. In January 2019, Yvette became the first woman to serve as a Chief Executive Officer at DFA as well as the first woman of color in executive leadership.

Yvette grew up in public housing in Cincinnati and was raised by her grandmother. She was the first in her family to graduate college, earning her BA in Political Science, a BS in Communications from Miami University, her JD from the University of Cincinnati, and her MBA from Xavier University in Ohio. Yvette's passion for service started in 2008 when she served as a member of the Ohio Voter Protection Team as a Legal Observer. She later served on the Steering Committee for the Women's Fund, which researched barriers to women in public service. Since that time, she has volunteered and supported local and state campaigns, serving as the Vice Chair of the State Central Committee for the Ohio Democratic Party.

Yvette was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 2011 and re-elected in 2013 for a four-year term. She served as President Pro Tem from 2013-2017. In 2017 she ran for Mayor of Cincinnati and earned the full support and endorsement of DFA members across the country. She made history as the first Black woman in Cincinnati's 200-year history to win a Mayoral primary but came up just short of victory in the general election despite winning 15 of 26 wards.

Active in her local community, Yvette has served on several boards and committees, including the YWCA, Urban League, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, and the UC Law Legal Access Program, among others. Yvette brings her experience, passion, advocacy, and commitment to changing the world to her role at DFA and advance the voices and power of progressives in our democracy nationwide.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.