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)