Hilary O. Shelton Vice President for Advocacy and Director of Washington Bureau, NAACP

Hilary O. Shelton presently serves as Director to the NAACP’s Washington Bureau. The Washington Bureau is the Federal legislative and national public policy division of the over 500,000-member, 2,200-membership unit, national civil rights organization. In this capacity, Hilary is responsible for advocating the federal public policy issue agenda of the oldest, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization in the United States to the U.S. Government. Hilary's government affairs portfolio includes crucial issues such as affirmative action, equal employment protection, access to quality education, stopping gun violence, ending racial profiling, abolition of the death penalty, access to comprehensive healthcare, voting rights protection, federal sentencing reform and a host of civil rights enforcement, expansion and protection issues.
Prior to working for The College Fund/UNCF, Hilary served as the Federal Policy Program Director to the 8.5 million-member United Methodist Church’s social justice advocacy agency, The General Board of Church & Society. In this capacity, Hilary advocated for the national and international United Methodist Church’s public policy agenda affecting a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues including preserving equal opportunity programs such as affirmative action, securing equal high quality public education for all Americans, guaranteeing greater access to higher education and strengthening our nation’s historically Black colleges and universities, abolition of the death penalty, reforming the criminal justice system, voting rights protection and expansion, gun control and a host of other social justice policy concerns.
Hilary serves on a number of national boards of directors including, The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute among many others.
Playing an integral role in the crafting and final passage of such crucial federal legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Hilary was also instrumental in ushering through to passage, The Civil Rights Restoration Act, The Violence Against Women Act, The Hate Crimes Statistics Act, The Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act, The National Voter Registration Act, The National Assault Weapons Ban, The Brady Handgun Law, Reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act and many other crucial laws and policy measures affecting the quality of our lives and equality in our society.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a family of six brothers and sisters, Hilary holds degrees in political science, communications, and legal studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C., the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, respectively.
Hilary presently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Paula Young Shelton and their three sons, masters Caleb Wesley, Aaron Joshua, and Noah Ottis Young Shelton.