On February 16, Rashida Jones, the president of MSNBC joined us to kick off the “Know Your Power” series. Know Your Power is a new GU Politics Forum series on barrier breakers and innovative leaders in media, politics, and public service.
Spring 22‘ GU Politics Fellow Ashley Etienne who served as the Director of Communications to Vice President Kamala Harris as well as Senior Advisor and Director of Communications to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi moderated the discussion.
Jones discusses her early years as a journalist, lessons she learned along the way, her experience as the first Black executive to lead a major news network, and how she defines and uses her power for the greater good.
“I was always inclined to raise my hand for whatever the next big project is. I raise my hand for everything. Early in my career when I was working local news, they needed someone to run the weather department. I knew nothing about weather,” Jones said. “But I said fine.”
“You know, I was not an expert at doing any of these things until I did them and so I knew I didn’t have necessarily the experience of producing a debate or that kind of town hall or the experience of a presidential debate or the experience of running these day parts in that way and so one thing that I’ve always really focused on is… experience is a factor but not the only factor and no one’s going to outwork me.” – Rashida Jones
Later on in the Forum, Etienne highlights “It feels like if pressure creates a diamond, then Black women should always constantly shine. The beauty of us is when that light hits us, we reflect back that brilliance to the world.”
“I am always going to lean on the experiences of others in lessons learned and find ways to create efficiencies, innovation and to bring creativity to it.” – Rashida Jones
Know Your Power was launched in coordination with Black History Month and Women’s History Month. This new series will continue to highlight barrier breakers in media, politics, and public service throughout the year.
You can listen to this conversation in its entirety on the GU Politics’ Youtube Channel. For more information and highlights from all our Forum events, be sure to follow us on Twitter!