Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner

Faith leader, author, lecturer, lawyer, businesswoman, educator, trusted advisor, mentor and political strategist, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner has made an indelible imprint in American Politics and in the Faith community.

Faith leader, author, lecturer, lawyer, businesswoman, educator, trusted advisor, mentor and political strategist, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner has made an indelible imprint in American Politics and in the Faith community. Considered one of Washington’s most influential leaders, and included in 2008’s “Presidential Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers,” Dr. Skinner was the first female Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus (1974-1981). She is currently CEO, the Skinner Leadership Institute, which she co-founded in 1992 with her late husband, Tom Skinner, former Chaplin of the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Washington Redskins sports franchises; and, who was also a powerful and respected international speaker and author. The Skinner Leadership Institute provides the mechanism for networking, bridge-building and leadership development between Congressional leaders, business executives, college students, faith leaders, young professionals, and urban youth. A respected and influential Faith leader, Dr. Skinner has served as host of the National Prayer Breakfast which for over 60 years has brought together Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the President and Vice-President of the United States, justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and members of the Armed services, with over 4,000 top business, government and civic leaders from 170 countries, in order to encourage unity and cooperation. As Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, Dr. Skinner created and hosted the first Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) National Prayer Breakfast which to this day attracts annually over 3,000 business, political, government, civic and faith leaders from across the U.S. Dr. Skinner, recently appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Council of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnership, meets regularly with the President and his senior staff as a trusted Faith leader, strategist and advisor. In addition to the President, Dr. Skinner is also a trusted advisor to members of the Congress. She is founding member of the Black Women’s Roundtable, a project of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. The Roundtable brings together prominent African American women leaders from business, faith, government, and non-profit communities to advance the priority interests of African American women at the highest levels of government. The Roundtable lobbied for and succeeded in obtaining the appointment of over 30 African American women to top positions in the Administration both on the domestic and international levels, including the Small Business Administration and key ambassadorships. In 2008, Dr. Skinner, the late Dr. Dorothy Height, longtime President of the National Council of Negro Women, (40 years), former Secretary of Labor, Alexis Herman, and other key leaders, launched the Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders (MSDL). In its 25th year, the Masters Series is a six month program which provides gifted and talented business, government and non-profit middle-managers ages 25-45 with intangible skills needed to move to the next levels of their careers. These young executives are taught how to master the proper uses of power; the importance of ethics and integrity; how to network and build empowering relationships; how to master diversity’s new dimensions; resiliency and character strength; and the importance of integrating strategic thinking in their daily regimen. The program provides coaching by accomplished veteran leaders and teaches the skills of promise-driven leadership. A key component of the MSDL requires participants to apply their skills in helping the needs of respected community-based organizations through community service projects with organizations like: Habitat for Humanity, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the National Urban League Policy Institute. Nearly 70 outstanding young executive leaders have graduated from the Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders. In addition to MSDL, among Dr. Skinner’s other accomplishments are two highly successful and diverse youth programs which she heads: the Tom Skinner Campus Ministry at Howard University, and the Ballou High School Technology Program located at Ballou High School in Washington, D.C. Through the Tom Skinner Campus Ministry, student leaders are taught “servant leadership” which is the principle of major transformational leaders of the world like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. They are trained to engage in community service and encouraged to strive for moral excellence. An integral part of the curriculum are twice weekly noonday prayer and power lunches with leaders representing media, business, law, and government. Events are also planned for students to maintain a vibrant partnership with local faith community leaders. These respective events, and others like them, are sponsored by the Tom Skinner Campus Ministry to encourage participants to grow as leaders of character, capable of addressing key moral issues and challenges of their generation which include, teen pregnancy, HIV/Aids and alcohol and drug abuse. Through a public/private partnership between Toyota and the District of Columbia Public School system, Dr. Skinner heads a $1.5 million 10-year program to modernize the Ballou High School’s Automotive Technology Program. She has been appointed Toyota’s D.C. representative and works with Darcars Automotive, Ballou High School, Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the D.C. Public School system to provide a year-round program of job readiness and life skills training for students in grades 9-12. Dr. Skinner is Co-Chair of The National African-American Clergy Network, a powerful national network of intergenerational clergy leaders with over a million constituents, who advocate for poor and working class Americans. The Clergy Network provides a moral voice on public policy issues including employment, budget cuts, health care and housing and education to ensure fairness in the way the nation's budget resources are allocated. She earned a B.A. from San Francisco State University and a Master of Social Work, (M.S.W.), and Law Degree (J.D.) from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She also earned her Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from the Howard University School of Divinity. Dr. Skinner has written numerous articles including: “The Power of Love;” “Been There, Done That: Why African American Christians Resist Racial Reconciliation;” “Why and How Would Jesus Vote;” “Obama: the Black Church, and the Promise of Reconciliation;” and, has also published two leadership training books on leadership and reconciliation. The Reverend Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner was honored and humbled when asked to give the invocation at The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service in honor of our President, Barack H. Obama and Vice-President, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service was held at the Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday, January 21, 2013. This true woman of God lives in Southern Maryland, and is the mother of two adult daughters through marriage. She has eleven (11) grandchildren and seven (7) godchildren. ###