Ms.Peggy Cooper Cafritz has been a resident of the District of Columbia since 1964. She attended the George Washington University, earning an undergraduate degree in political science in 1968 and a law degree in 1971. While still in law school, she co-founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and continues to serve the school and its non-profit fundraising affiliate, the Ellington Fund.
In 2001, she became the first publicly elected president of the District of Columbia Board of Education, serving two terms. Ms. Cafritz has enjoyed a wide and varied professional career. Following law school, she was the youngest person ever selected as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Ms. Cafritz has worked as a programming executive for Post-Newsweek and a documentary producer for WTOP-TV, earning both Emmy and Peabody Awards for her documentary work.
Ms. Cafritz also served as Executive Director for the Minority Cultural Project, a joint venture between Harry Belafonte and WQED/Pittsburgh to develop a dramatic literary series for the Community for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Corporation.
Since 1986, Ms. Cafritz has appeared as an arts critic on WETA-TV’s “Around Town,” for which she also received an Emmy Award. Ms. Cafritz has an extensive public service background in both education and the arts. From 1979 to 1987, Ms. Cafritz chaired the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and in 1993 was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Vice-chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Among numerous other board and committees, Ms. Cafritz has served on the Advisory Board of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University since 1992, the Board of Trustees of Pratt Institute since 1990, the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships Board of Trustees since 1994, and the Whitney Museum Painting and Sculpture Committee from 1991 to 1998.
An art patron, Ms. Cafritz has two sons and a daughter, and gives three college scholarships each year to Duke Ellington School of the Arts students in honor of her children.
Read more: New York Times on Ms. Cafriz