KEY POINTS

  • Bernie Sanders' campaign is being managed by Faiz Shakir, a Muslim and Pakistani-American who has a background in a variety of liberal causes
  • Shakir has worked for the ACLU and Center for American Progress and has worked on Capitol Hill for Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
  • Shakir is a fan of baseball and says the sport helps him be an effective campaign manager

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently won the New Hampshire primary and is positioned for a strong performance in the upcoming Nevada caucus. One reason behind Sanders’ recent success is his campaign organization, which is managed by Faiz Shakir. 

Shakir, 41, is the first Pakistani-American and first Muslim campaign manager for a major party presidential campaign. Shakir joined the Sanders campaign in February 2019, and has worked for liberal causes both on Capitol Hill and in the nonprofit sector.

Prior to joining the Sanders campaign, Shakir worked as the national political director for the American Civil Liberties Union. He served in this role for a little over two years and helped the organization launch its “People Power” website, the ACLU’s grassroots army which mobilizes people across the country to support civil liberties.

Shakir also served as a senior adviser for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., from 2013 to 2017 and worked briefly for House Speaker Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. 

From 2005 to 2012, Shakir worked for the liberal Center for American Progress and helped start the ThinkProgress news blog.

Shakir also has an impressive educational background. He has a law degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor's in government from Harvard University. He is married to Sarah Miller, an antimonopoly advocate who targets corporate power.

As a Muslim, Shakir doesn’t smoke or drink. Instead, he has a passion for baseball and credits the sport for helping him make friends from different cultural backgrounds during his childhood -- an asset for his development into an effective campaign manager.

“The lessons from baseball have been instrumental in how I think about how I manage,” Shakir told Payday Report in March. “We gotta have everyone understand their roles and how they are adding to the overall success of the endeavor.”

Under Shakir’s direction, the Sanders campaign managed to raise $25 million in the month of January alone. Sanders has become a frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic primary race, after losing the 2016 presidential nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.