Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter is an innovative and dynamic leader who has dedicated her life to helping people and standing up for what is right. Elected to the South Carolina State House of Representatives in 1992, Gilda Cobb-Hunter was the first African American woman in Orangeburg County elected to a statewide office and the first freshman representative appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. In 1997 she became the first person of color to lead a legislative caucus when she was elected house minority leader, a position she held for three years.
Cobb-Hunter has received numerous awards for her legislative leadership. She served as vice- chair of the African American History Monument Commission and led the effort to erect the first monument to African Americans on the grounds of any state capitol. She represents South Carolina as the national committeeperson to the Democratic National Committee, where she also serves as a member of the DNC’s Executive Committee. Cobb-Hunter is the chair for both the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Youth Committee and the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus’ Health Committee.
Since 1985 she has been the executive director of CASA Family Systems, an agency serving victims of family violence and abuse in Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties. She has worked at the state, regional and national levels on a variety of progressive issues aimed at making communities better places for working families to live.
Cobb-Hunter holds a B.S. in African American History from Florida A&M University, an M.A. in American history from Florida State University and is a licensed master social worker. She is a 1986 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, a 1996 graduate of the Arthur Flemming Leadership Institute and a 2001 Eleanor Roosevelt Global Leadership Fellow. In May 2007 she received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Medical University of South Carolina.