Proven Leadership Delivering Results for Our Community
Abena McAllister is a rising star in Maryland politics. She completed her Bachelors degree with cum laude honors from Nyack College, a Christian missionary alliance school, and earned her Juris Doctorate from the David A. Clarke School of Law.
Abena is a native New Yorker who began her career in media, interning at the Live with Regis and Kelly Show, ABC-TV, and VH1. Her experience landed her at a job working for Harpo Productions, where she developed, wrote, and produced channel promotions and upcoming show topics for Oprah.com and worked as on air-talent for SirusXM radio.
In 2007, Abena moved to Charles County, Maryland with her college sweetheart Willie McAllister.
Shortly after moving to Charles County, Abena used her communication skills to engage, inform and empower her local community. She soon became known for her community advocacy and developed a reputation for mobilizing leaders and communities for social change and collective political action.
In 2013, Abena drafted the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillator Requirements Act of 2013 which initiated a CPR and AED program across public schools in the District of Columbia, and established procedures for responding to medical emergencies. In December of 2014, in the wake of the growing discontentment with law enforcement in our nation, Abena organized a countywide panel discussion with several community leaders, local politicians, and the newly elected Sheriff, to discuss community relations, racial tension, policing practices, accountability issues and how to build a stronger relationship between the Charles County Sheriff’s Department and its citizens.
In 2014, Abena was appointed to the Charles County Democratic Central Committee and elected to the committee in 2018. Not long after joining the Committee Abena was elected Chairwoman for two consecutive terms becoming the second African American woman in the County to lead the committee. In an effort to encourage more people to run for office in Charles County, Abena hosted the county’s first candidate training workshop and campaign finance workshop. Additionally, under her leadership, the Charles County Democratic Central Committee’s Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts were effective and increased voter turn out by more than 49% in Charles County. As a result, Charles County was one of only four counties within the State that produced a win for every Democrat on the ballot in the November 2018 Gubernatorial election. Abena also made a commitment to do more fundraising for the party, and as a result the Charles County Democratic Central Committee had its highest grossing Truman Kennedy Obama Awards Dinner to date.
Abena has supported several Democratic campaigns at the local, state and national level, including Barack Obama’s 2012 Presidential re-election campaign, Congressman Anthony Brown’s 2014 campaign for Governor of Maryland, and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign to name a few. Most recently, Abena was selected to serve as a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention by Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Presidential campaign.
Abena’s civic involvement is extensive, as she has never been one to sit on the sidelines. When a cause is important, she rolls up her sleeves, joins the team, and does what it takes. In 2017, Abena helped to organize a bus for Charles County residents to attend the Women’s March on Washington. Following the March on Washington, Abena founded Women of Action Charles County MD (WOACC). WOACC is a diverse network of local women dedicated to empowering and supporting women and all people through mentoring, performing community service and offering educational opportunities to further the common good and general welfare of residents in the community. The organization’s contributions to the community have been highlighted on Good Morning Washington, WJLA and NBC.
Since it’s inception, WOACC has organized a bus to take residents from the tri-county area to the March for Our Lives, hosted voter registration drives, food drives, advocated for legislation that benefits women and children, held educational town halls, harvested food to feed low-income residents across Maryland, started a teacher supply closet to give teachers around the county free classroom supplies, and most recently held a coronavirus virtual town hall with a panel of medical professionals, public school officials, and state & local elected officials to share information about the county’s preparedness and action plans.
In December 2018, Abena was elected Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party becoming the first person from Charles County to hold one of the seven executive officer positions. She also serves as Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party’s Ethics and Sexual Harassment Committee, and oversees the Party's Diversity leadership council constituency groups.
Abena is a true servant leader. She attributes her strength and love of service to her faith and family. She currently resides in Waldorf, Maryland with her husband Willie, their 4 year old and 3 month old daughters, and two dogs Manny and Charlie Brown.