Sharon Pratt

Founding Director

Advisory Committee Member

Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt will serve as the Founding Director of the UDC Institute for Politics, Policy and History.

Pratt graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1961 and earned her B.S. degree in political science in 1965 from Howard University. Pratt attended Howard University Law School where she earned her J.D. degree in 1968. In undergraduate school, Ms. Pratt was inducted into the National Political Science Honor Society and served as a Falk Fellow focused on Home Rule/Statehood in the District of Columbia. While at Howard Law School, she served as Articles Editor of the Law Review.


In 1972, Pratt became a law professor at the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., and worked there until 1976 when she became the Associate General Counsel for the Potomac Electric Power Company, known as PEPCO. She eventually became Vice President of Consumer Affairs and then Public Policy at PEPCO in 1983. She was Pepco’s first woman elected an officer.


In 1990 Pratt was elected Mayor of Washington D.C., the first African American female to hold such at- position in the United States. In 1995, Pratt served as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.  From 1997 to 2001, Pratt served as the President of @ The Center, a start-up digital platform enabling B to B transactions with Africa. In 2002, Pratt began Pratt Consulting, working with companies, nonprofits and governments.  She also serves as Founding Chairman of Home Preservation Exchange, a nonprofit focused on stabilizing neighborhoods by acquiring troubled mortgages.



About Us

Rediscovering District of Columbia history – and its consequential role in determining contemporary politics and policy serves as our primary charge.

We will establish platforms for making Washington, D.C. history more accessible and intriguing to contemporary audiences and explore, especially through the lens of the Nation’s Capital, the cultural/political fault-lines that have perennially plagued our nation and obstructed our quest to become a more perfect union.

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