Sojourners Board Member

Tanya Clay House serves as chair of the board of the Kairos: Democracy Project, which works to protect democracy by supporting communities of color in exercising their right to vote. She also works with the American Bar Association on its voting rights efforts. House was most recently executive vice president for campaigns and advocacy at the Hip Hop Caucus and the Hip Hop Caucus Action Fund; she was also the senior program officer for voting rights at the State Infrastructure Fund where she managed the voting rights portfolio, including all national voting rights litigation funding. She serves as CEO and co-founder of ClayHouse Consulting Inc. Her clients have included the NAACP, the National Coalition for School Diversity, the Network for Public Education, African American Policy Forum, and more.

As an Obama Administration appointee, House formerly served as the deputy assistant secretary for P-12 education in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. In her role, she provided recommendations to the assistant secretary of OPEPD and other senior department officials on a host of policy initiatives as the leader of the P-12 team in OPEPD. In addition to the reauthorization and subsequent implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, House oversaw the development of policy in the P-12 budget and spending plans.

Prior to this appointment, House served as director of the Public Policy Department at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and formerly served as the public policy director at People for the American Way. In 2000, House began her political career as Legislative Counsel for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.). From there, she moved to the Senate to work for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calf.) focusing on civil rights and social policy issues.

In 2021, House was recognized by Women Engaged for her work in philanthropy with the “She Who Rises to the Challenge and Builds Power as a Leader in Philanthropy” award. She was also awarded two of the highest honors from the National Bar Association (NBA). In April 2021, she received the Gertrude Rush Distinguished Service Award, which is named after the first Black female attorney in Iowa and one of the founders of the NBA. In July 2021, House received the Equal Justice Award for her work on protecting the civil rights of all people throughout the years. In 2020, House was awarded the President’s Circle Leadership Award on behalf of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and was selected as the 2020 NBA Women’s Lawyers Division’s Front Line Woman Lawyer. In 2018 she received the Push Excel Award for Educational Excellence, and in 2017 she was awarded the NBA’s Vince Monroe Townsend Jr. Civil Rights Legend Award.

House has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress, State Legislatures, and Federal and State Agencies. She is a member of the board of directors for the NBA, where she serves as chair of the civil rights and social justice section. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the National Council on School Diversity. House has been featured in NBC Nightly News, Associated Press, C-Span, Washington Post, LA Times, New York Times, USA Today, BET news, the Detroit News, National Public Radio, Roll Call, regional network news, and others.

Formerly of Louisville, Ken., House earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude in political science from the University of Michigan, where she excelled as a varsity track athlete. She earned her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was executive editor of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law and attorney general for the Rocky Mountain Black Law Students Association. Tanya resides outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two sons.