Abrams, a Spelman College graduated, began her political career in the Georgia General Assembly in 2007, serving as a state representative for over a decade until 2017. During that time, Abrams was the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017. As minority leader, Abrams was the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly, and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives.

In 2018, Abrams made history by becoming the first African American woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the United States as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. 

She would also create Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project which registered more than 800,000 new voters ahead of the 2020 election. Her work helped to turn Georgia to a Democratic state for the first time in decades. 

Abrams seeks to inspire the next generation of political leaders with her new role at Howard University. 

“I am honored to serve as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics, having had the privilege of knowing and learning from Dr. Walters,” said Abrams. “We are at an inflection point for American and international democracy, and I look forward to engaging Howard University’s extraordinary students in a conversation about where they can influence, shape and direct the critical public policy decisions we face. From my alma mater, Spelman College, I have carved out a career that allows me to weave together policy analysis, political leadership, social justice, business, environmental, entertainment, and more. Through this post, I hope to emulate Dr. Walter’s diasporic lens on our world and be a part of how Howard University continues to contribute to the broader political discourse.”