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Deesha  Dyer

Deesha Dyer

Co-Founder and Executive Director of beGirl.world & Former Social Secretary for the Obama White House

Deesha Dyer

Co-Founder and Executive Director of beGirl.world & Former Social Secretary for the Obama White House


Deesha Dyer is a philanthropist, award-winning strategist, on-the-ground community organizer, and executive operations expert. Working her way up from a 31-year old community college student who served as a White House intern for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Deesha ended her government career as the White House social secretary, a highly-coveted senior position. She is currently the founder and president of social impact agency, Hook & Fasten where she coordinates transformational partnerships between communities and operations. In 2014, Deesha co-founded beGirl.world Global Scholars, an organization that empowers, educates and equips Black teen girls to travel the world while also tackling the racial disparity in study abroad.

She is curator of multiple scholarships for Black women in politics, travels, wellness and education and sits on board of the Humane Society of the United States and Mindful Schools. Serving as a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics Resident Fellow in 2019, Deesha designed and led a study course called, Imposter to Impact. A renowned speaker known for her engaging and authentic delivery, she is an expert on topics ranging from diplomacy, events, women leadership, confidence, race & ethnicity and social change.

Deesha was included in Marie Claire’s new guard of women changing the world, the Root’s most influential African-Americans and profiled in Women Who Run the White House by Essence. She’s been featured in Vogue, Travelnoire, and the Washington Post and has also delivered commentary on CNN, MSNBC and NPR. Deesha has written for Oprah Daily, Glamour and Lonely Planet and was recently awarded the Women of Excellence Award by the District of Columbia. Her debut book, Undiplomatic, is about her rise in the Obama White House while tackling imposter syndrome.

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Inspire Girls Out of Marginalized Communities Through Travel

Stories from a State Dinner | Harvard Kennedy Forum

Speech Topics

Non-Traditional Approaches to Education: From Community College to the White House

Deesha dropped out of college after one semester in 1995. It took 10 years and multiple applications before she was accepted to the only school that would take her, Community College of Philadelphia. At age 30, she applied and was awarded a White House internship which led to a seven-year career that included three promotions and culminated with her senior role as White House social secretary in the Obama Administration. In this talk, Deesha discusses the obstacles along her path to success, earning a degree while working at the White House, and playing a pivotal role in the Obama 2012 re-election campaign. She’ll also talk about the importance of community colleges for non-traditional students. This talk is not just for those in the education field, but for anyone looking to start over in their professional and personal life.

Diplomacy, Protocol, Events: Entertaining at the White House

What does it take to actually put on an event at the White House? From Pope Francis to Beyonce to heads of state, Deesha welcomed the world to “The People’s House”. Every detail -- including decor, menu, protocols, gifts, greetings, security, communications, and the run-of-show -- was Deesha’s responsibility and expertise. Working with professionals from the White House Social Office, Secret Service, Residence Staff, White House Military Office, State Department and more, Deesha created flawless events as Social Secretary for the President and Mrs. Obama. This talk is for event and catering professionals, party and conference planners, hospitality executives or anyone interested in learning the secrets of how the Obama administration created countless memorable moments at 1600 Pennsylvania.

From Imposter to Impact: Ditching Imposter Syndrome & Leading from the Inside Out

Drawing from curriculum created and presented during her semester as a Harvard Institute of Politics Resident Fellow in fall 2019, Deesha authentically digs deep into the root of imposter syndrome and how a person can overcome it. She gives an honest account of her own story, noting how being a college dropout and working at the White House intensified her own feelings of self-doubt. Deesha redirected this feeling into her work and found success -- rising from intern to social secretary.  This talk is for everyone and anyone because no matter the age, profession or background, we all struggle with seeing our own value and implementing it in to our daily life. This talk will show how it is possible to overcome imposter syndrome, control your own narrative and show up as your best self.

Importance of Diversity in Study Abroad & Travel

Deesha came across the startling statistic that less than 7% of study abroad students are Black. Recognizing how unfortunate that is -- not just for students, but also the world -- Deesha co-founded beGirl.world, which empowers Black high school girls to become global citizens. Recognized by Airbnb and Travelnoire, beGirl.world has become one of the leading travel organizations for youth. Using creative programming that mixes culture, confidence, wellness and education, beGirl.world has taken Black girls to London, Paris and Madrid and has seen beGirl.world alumni study abroad in Spain and Belize. In addition, the organization created two study-abroad scholarships for Black college women. This talk explores why it is crucial to have racial diversity and representation in the travel sector. This talk is for nonprofit, civic, and corporate leaders, hospitality professionals, travel experts, and anyone looking to use their platform to advance a social cause or mission.