As an expert storyteller and connector of people, politics, media and brands, Edda Collins Coleman brings candid counsel to Cogent clients and tangible results. Edda has spent over two decades building a sizeable network as a government affairs and communications strategist for Fortune 1000 companies, nonprofits and political organizations. Most recently, Edda worked with Women for Biden and Small Business for Biden to drive fundraising and voter turnout efforts.
Edda joined Cogent from the Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent organization committed to increasing the number of global Black executives, where she directed communications, government affairs strategy and partnership development. Prior to that, she was the head of partnerships at the CSpence Group where she was responsible for strategic outreach, stakeholder engagement, philanthropic initiatives and executing cultural programs for a Midwestern health care system and an East Coast member organization.
Edda’s love of politics led to the creation of the All In Together Campaign (AIT), a non-partisan women’s organization committed to closing the gaps in politics to advance the progress of women’s civic leadership. Before founding AIT, Edda developed direct action campaigns, served as a communications advisor and media coach to senior leadership and C-suite executive clients at Hill + Knowlton and the Polsinelli law firm. During this time, Edda was a force behind reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). She focused on engaging Congress, building advocacy groups and partnership development on behalf of clients, particularly those in the health care and technology sectors.
A longtime advocate for those suffering from sickle cell disease, Edda served as chair of the government relations committee for the board of directors for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) for five years and later served as interim CEO. While with SCDAA, Edda played a pivotal role in establishing the Congressional Sickle Cell Caucus and engaged closely with the Congressional Black Caucus, members of Congress and health organizations who cared deeply for those with sickle cell disease.
Edda currently serves a number of community, social impact and civic organizations. She is on the national board of directors for Facing History and Ourselves and is an ambassador and member of the 2015 Society for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Previously, Edda was a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth Board of Trustees and an adjunct professor with American University’s School of Communications. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Links, Incorporated.
An award-winning strategist, Edda has been recognized by ESSENCE Magazine on their list of 2018 100 Woke Women. She received the 2016 BMW and MADE Magazine Pay it 4Ward Award, is a 2014 Northern Virginia Alumni of Hampton University 35 for 35 Award recipient, a 2014 RollingOut Magazine’s Female Success Factor, a 2014 Hello Beautiful 25 Women to Know: Crusaders in Healthcare honoree, and received the Women in Government Relations 2014 and 2013 Co-Chair Recognition Award for Outstanding Leadership. Her work and insights on gender equity, social justice and women in politics have been featured in Forbes, NPR, Refinery29, OZY, The Hill and The DailyWorth.
Edda currently splits her time between the Beltway and Northern California where she lives with her husband and three young daughters. In her downtime, Edda enjoys playing classical piano for her family (a hobby she has maintained since she was six!), hiking, riding her Peloton, reading and fly fishing.