The Center mourns the loss of Michelle Bazie, a dear and long-time colleague, friend, and fierce advocate for racial and economic justice.
A valued member of the Center since joining the staff in 1993, Michelle built deep relationships with colleagues both within and outside the Center. She was poised and gracious, quick with a joke, and generous with support, especially in welcoming new staff to the Center or helping a colleague struggling through a tough time.
Michelle was Vice President and Deputy Director of the Center’s Policy Futures Initiative, supporting the professional growth and development of early career Center staff by helping them develop relationships, deepen their understanding of policy issues, and build concrete skills.
Prior to this role, Michelle led the Center’s communications work for many years. She pushed the Center to use changing technology to get our message out and advance our policy goals. Most notably, she was the architect of the Center’s web presence, creating the first CBPP website. She also helped the Center build strong and trusting relationships with the press, who knew they could count on her for help even on the tightest deadlines.
Michelle also worked with the International Budget Partnership (then a project of the Center) to help civil society groups in other countries harness the power of emerging communications strategies and technologies to advance public budget systems that work for people rather than special interests.
Through Policy Futures, the International Budget Partnership, and her mentorship of early career communications staff, Michelle helped develop a generation of emerging leaders who are contributing to policy advances in the U.S. and abroad.
A strong advocate for racial equity, Michelle participated in the Center’s Black and Asian American Pacific Islander affinity groups and helped plan many celebrations and equity and inclusion events over the years.
Our deepest condolences to her family and friends and to the many colleagues whom Michelle touched with her kindness, humor, warmth, and guidance.