Traci Otey Blunt
SVP, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
The RLJ Companies
An internship with the Tennessee State Legislature led Traci Otey Blunt into an unexpected career in media, public affairs and politics. As a child she dreamed of becoming an FBI agent, and jokes that she watched too much of the television shows “Charlie’s Angels” and “Police Woman” growing up. Notable positions among the many highlights of her career include a term as a communications director during the Al Gore-Joe Lieberman 2000 presidential election campaign, and as a deputy communications director and director of African-American Media for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. Today, Blunt is senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at The RLJ Companies, a position specially created for her by company chairman Robert L. Johnson, who is also the founder of Black Entertainment Television.
“This job is every job I’ve ever had all rolled into one,” says Blunt. “I always say that I’m never going to leave.” RLJ is the holding company for 13 diverse business entities ranging from automotive, private equity, financial services, to sports and entertainment.
Blunt holds a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in criminal justice from Tennessee State University, and serves on several boards, including Malaria No More, ColorComm, and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She and her husband welcomed their first child — a daughter — last year and are enjoying parenthood.
Blunt realizes the importance of staying focused when it comes to balancing family and her career, and not allowing challenges to steer her off course. She often counsels young women starting off their careers to keep sight of their goals even if they veer off of their path “because you will always end up where you are supposed to be. Most important, try not to hold on to negativity because life is too short.”