Basil Smikle Jr. is a lecturer at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and Assitant Teaching Professor of Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Newark. He holds a PhD in Politics and Education from Columbia University and continues to provide political and policy advice to public and private sector institutions. As a thought-leader and political strategist, he is a familiar face on MSNBC, CNN and other media outlets where frequent appearances highlight his insights on electoral politics and public policy. Basil was most recently the Distinguished Lecturer of Politics and Public Policy at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies, and currently lectures at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and Teachers College. From 2015-2017 during the Presidential cycle, he was appointed by former Governor David Paterson to be Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party where he was the “second highest ranking” Democrat in the State.