Dr. Christine Warnke was recently asked by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC to serve as the city’s Chief of Protocol amd Director of International Relations in the Executive Office of the Mayor. Prior to this local government appointment she has serve as a is a global business and economic development executive with particular expertise in non-profit, humanitarian, and international corporate strategies. Her 30+ year professional career span includes extensive public service and diverse guidance to senior corporate and government leadership across the U.S. and worldwide. She has also been impactful in grassroots and national Democratic campaigns for decades, and her efforts to empower the disenfranchised domestically and around the globe have helped elevate the lives of many people. Dr. Warnke was honored to be elected to serve as an official Delegate for Joe Biden representing our Nation’s Capital for the Democratic National Convention in 2020 by garnering the highest number of votes city-wide as a woman delegate. She also was an active member of the National Ethnic Engagement Coalition for the Biden for President campaign.
In addition to serving in the federal government, including the Department of Interior and the U.S. Congress in the Office of the Senate Majority Leader, Dr. Warnke also has broad local government and non-profit expertise. She presently serves as a Commissioner on the DC Real Estate Commission, was formerly on the DC Human Rights Commission, and has served as Chairwoman for the DC Commission for Women under four Washington, DC Mayors. Dr. Warnke currently is Senior Vice President for Global Business Development at Capitol Hill Consulting Group (CHCG) in Washington, DC, where she specializes in developing business strategies and innovative policy solutions for small and large businesses, nonprofits, and U.S. state and local government sector clients. She has previously served as a senior advisor to global Fortune 500 companies, international non-profit organizations, small businesses, and higher education institutions on policy/legislative and regulatory, ESG, and international trade matters before the U.S. Congress, the White House, and various departments and independent agencies of the Executive Branch.
Dr. Warnke also collaborates with innovative startups at the early stages of development, applying translational research, obtaining funding, and ensuring government accountability for commercialization opportunities in the global marketplace. She has placed a special emphasis on empowering women and underserved communities across the world in this regard, with a particular focus on African countries and African diaspora communities here in the United States.
In addition to her experience with the U.S. Government, Dr. Warnke has worked worldwide across public sectors for several decades. In this international sphere, she has spearheaded numerous domestic and international initiatives in the areas of economic investment, finance, banking, cultural exchange, defense/military, energy, health research and medical device development.
Dr. Warnke gained national recognition during the 2008 Presidential Election as a DNC National delegate (Superdelegate) of the Democratic National Committee. In May 2020, she was the highest woman vote-getter as an elected delegate for Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, DC and she continues to maintain a leadership role within the National Democratic Committee as Vice Chair of the DNC Ethnic Coordinating Council, which aims to expand the diverse group of ethnic Americans within the Democratic Party. She has been asked to be the Ethnic/Diversity liaison for the National Returning Citizens Voter Coalition.
Dr. Warnke has also been at the center of prominent women’s empowerment initiatives, both domestically and internationally. She has served as Chair of the DC Commission for Women under four different Mayors where she has implemented programs to assist women in underserved areas throughout our Nation’s Capital in becoming self-sufficiient after passage of the Welfare Reform Act. She was founding President of the largest National Greek American Women’s professional movement here in the United States.
In 2010, Dr. Warnke was selected by the Smithsonian Board of Regents, which includes the Vice President of the United States and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to the Smithsonian National African Advisory Board. She continues to serve on numerous boards related to the African continent and other developing world markets. Dr. Warnke served for several years on the University of the District of Columbia Foundation Board. More recently, Dr. Warnke was elected and reappointed to the Board of Sister Cities International, which touts over sixteen hundred sister city relationships across the globe. Her commitment to local public service has included a long-term Mayoral appointed position to the DC Humanities Council and a current Mayoral appointment to the DC Real Estate Commission.
In 1994, Dr. Warnke was nominated by then-President William Jefferson Clinton to serve on the Board of the National Institute of Building Sciences and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate the same year. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland a year prior and was then bestowed the Alumni of the Year Award by the University. In 1998, President Clinton appointed Dr. Warnke to the Board of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
Dr. Warnke started her career in the political arena by being asked to serve in the Office of the United States Senate Majority Leader held by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV). In this capacity, she interacted with the United States Senators in the Democratic Caucus as well as the Republican Senatorial Caucus which gave her a unique understanding of the Senate floor procedure and internal nuances of the legislative process.
When I first decided to run for the Board of Sister Cities International, I remembered how inviting and kind the membership was at the international meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was so impressed with the warmth that emanated in the room that day and subsequently the friendships I have made with people in so many cities across the United States. In turn, I was given the opportunity to represent Sister Cities International on several overseas trips and I experienced first-hand the respect and admiration that this organization receives. From the several international visits that were made I enriched my experiences and understanding of what we, in America, possess and can offer our international counterparts and vice a versa. I am so proud to be a part of history such as receiving an honorary citizenship during the April Easter Uprising in Ireland.
Learning is a lifelong process and this is the reason I am now running for re election to the Board. My experiences from the missions I made over the last six years will never be replicated however I know that there are so many more opportunities to experience from other cultures and places with as much enthusiasm as I did when I first joined the Board.
I believe I have even more to offer now as a Member of the Board for I am learning first-hand the roles, the duties and the expectations that our foreign counterparts expect of us who are “citizen diplomats” for we are healers, connectors and leaders.
When the pandemic started, I felt that we needed to respond and enact new tools and platforms for communicating with our international counterparts and this is when the GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS was created and has been so successfully surviving today. It has grown by leaps and bounds and each “conversation only gets better and rewarding. I am proud of this program and the many others that have emanated from the men and women who have committed so much of their invaluable time in making this organization as household name throughout the world.