Lottie H. Shackelford has made history throughout her impressive 40 plus years in local, state and national politics. In 1987, she became the first woman elected Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas. Six years later, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), making her the first African American woman to serve on that Board. She also has the distinction of having the longest tenure as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), having served for 20 years and is currently Vice Chair Emeritus and Chair of the DNC Women’s Caucus.
Ms. Shackelford's political career began in 1978 when she was appointed to the Board of Directors for the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. She was elected and re-elected city wide three times before being elected the City’s first woman Mayor. During her tenure in local government, Ms. Shackelford directed liaison activities for minority businesses and held leadership positions in the National League of Cities. Additionally, she presented papers and conducted lecture tours on local government, economic development and electoral politics nationally and in European and African countries, as well as, leading economic trade missions to Asian countries.
For the past several decades, Ms. Shackelford has worked tirelessly with the Democratic Party and has been a delegate to every Democratic National Convention since 1980. Her national political experience includes senior positions on presidential campaigns, working on White House transition teams, and Co-Chair of the 1988 DNC Convention.
With wide-ranging institutional knowledge and political experience, Ms. Shackelford remains an invaluable asset to the Democratic Party. During her tenure as DNC Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation, Ms. Shackelford traveled across the country and around the world, sharing the Democratic Party’s message and engaging voters in the political process. She regularly participated in political forums in other countries, including Azerbaijan, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, and observed elections and the electoral process in Romania, the Baltics, West Germany and Taiwan.
Ms. Shackelford has also been an active member, locally and nationally, of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has received numerous honors and awards with some of the most coveted being a recipient of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Trailblazer Award in 1980 the Mary Church Terrell Award in 1998 at National Convention, The Delta Legacy Award at the 42nd National Convention, Esquire Magazines 40 most influential African Americans in 1984, induction into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1993, Woman of Distinction, 2003, Jimmie Lou Fisher-Lottie Shackelford Dinner, 2014 to honor women who have worked tirelessly on behalf of key issues that affect women in Arkansas and a Greek Legend Honoree in 2015.
Ms. Shackelford received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas and was a Senior Fellow at the Arkansas Institute of Politics and a 1983 Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
She has an extensive record of having served on numerous boards and commissions such as the Board of Directors of Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR, Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, GA, and Little Rock Airport Commission. Ms. Shackelford is also a member of many civic and social organizations including the Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc. and The Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas and a member of the First Baptist Church of Little Rock, Ms. Shackelford is a proud mother of three adult children, a son and two daughters, and a devoted grandmother of six. She is a mentor to dozens of young women and men interested in politics and continues to open doors for future generations who want to serve the public.