Senior Fellow, Third Way
Akunna Cook is an accomplished diplomat, policy advocate, and attorney. She is the founder and principal consultant at Drake Road Strategies where she advises individuals and organizations on public policy strategy and advocacy. Previously, Akunna served as the founding executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, a non-partisan organization focused on driving economic progress in the black community through policy development, advocacy, and supporting candidates for office. Akunna also practiced law at Covington & Burling LLP, where she advised former Attorney General Eric Holder on all aspects of his role as Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Akunna managed a team of attorneys researching political and legal strategy on redistricting around the country. She also advised a variety of clients on public policy, government affairs, and corporate governance.
Before practicing law, Akunna served for ten years as a career diplomat with the Department of State where she focused on economic and political development. She served overseas in China, South Africa, and Iraq where she advised U.S. companies on trade, investment, and political risk. In Washington, Akunna served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State responsible for African affairs, multilateral engagement, management, and legal issues. She received her law degree from the Yale Law School and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Howard University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration. Akunna is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Washington, DC Bar.