CNN Political Commentator, Daily Beast Columnist, Community Organizer and Activist
Sally Kohn is one of the leading progressive voices in America today. A CNN political commentator and Daily Beast columnist, Sally is a popular keynote speaker who makes audiences laugh and think. Previously a Fox News contributor—the inspiration for her widely seen TED talk—Sally's writing has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, New York magazine, More magazine, RollingStone.com, Elle.com, USA Today, TIME, AFAR magazine and many other mediums. Her work has been highlighted by outlets ranging from the Colbert Report to the National Review. Sally is ranked by Mediaite as one of the 100 most influential pundits on television and by The Advocate as the 35th most influential LGBT person in the media. Though she insists that doesn't mean she's the 35th gayest LGBT person in the media (she ranks far higher on that measure).
Sally is a highly in-demand keynote speaker, with audiences including Mount Holyoke College, Spotify, the University of Kansas, Knoll, and Southern New Hampshire University. She also works as a media and public speaking coach, training hundreds of companies, organizations and individual leaders to be their most effective and impactful selves in public.
Previously, Sally was senior campaign strategist with the Center for Community Change, a 45-year-old hub of grassroots organizations nationwide. She served as co-director of ideas and innovation for the Center, helping lead the pioneering Campaign for Community Values, producing a nationally televised presidential candidate forum in 2008, developing a new media organizing project on health care reform in rural communities and spearheading several other initiatives.
Sally held a program fellowship at the Ford Foundation, helping to manage more than $15 million in annual grants to social justice organizations nationwide. She was also strategic advisor to the Social Justice Infrastructure Funders, a private network of 25 top program staff from some of the nation’s most prominent foundations, working to identify a shared strategy and coordinate grantmaking. Before that, Sally served as executive director of the Third Wave Foundation, the leading young women’s organization in the country. She was also a distinguished Vaid Fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, where she published a groundbreaking guidebook for organizing campaigns to win domestic partnership benefits. Sally also worked as a consultant with the Urban Justice Center, publishing a report on the experiences of gay youth in the New York juvenile justice system.
She received a joint degree in law and public administration from New York University and was a Root-Tilden-Kern public service scholar at the New York University School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in D.C. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Sally now resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner Sarah Hansen and their daughter Willa.