Basil Smikle Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer of Politics and Public Policy at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies, and holds a PhD in Politics and Education from Columbia University. As a thought-leader and political strategist, he is a familiar face on CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets where frequent appearances highlight his insights on electoral politics and public policy. Basil was most recently the Executive Director of the New York Democratic Party during which time he was the “second highest-ranking Democrat” in the State and currently lectures at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and Teachers College.
Recognized as a staunch advocate for public service and education equity, he is part of the next generation of thinkers and policy advocates. Basil was featured in the L.A. Times as “Harlem’s New Political Elite”. City Hall Magazine once named him one of 50 rising stars in New York Politics. United States Senator Cory Booker called him a “much sought-after consultant”. Rev. Al Sharpton called him an “impressive speaker”; former Governor David Paterson noted that Basil is a “national caliber political operative”.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations and received a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
A life-long New Yorker and raised in the Bronx by Jamaican immigrants, he is inspired by his father, a retired textile worker, and mother, a long-time public school special education teacher. Basil is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, and 100 Black Men of New York where he helped start the Eagle Academy in the Bronx which has grown to 6 schools in New York and New Jersey. 11