Lawyer Martina Bradford was born on September 14, 1952 in Washington, D.C. to Alma Ashton Lewis and Martin Luther Lewis, Jr. Bradford received her B.A. degree in economics from American University in 1973, and her J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law in 1975.
In 1975, Bradford joined the Interstate Commerce Commission as attorney-director in the finance division, and was later promoted to chief of staff to the vice chairman. At the same time, she served as counsel to the Senate Committee on Government Operations and the House Appropriations Committee. In 1983, Bradford was hired by AT&T as an attorney in the corporate legal department, before moving to the public affairs department. In 1988, she was promoted to vice president of external affairs of the New York/New England region. Two years later, she was appointed vice president for federal government affairs at AT&T, where she lobbied on behalf of the company as lawmakers drafted the 1996 Telecommunications Act. In 1996, Bradford moved to AT&T’s spinoff company, Lucent Technologies, where she served as corporate vice president of global public affairs and helped establish the company with governmental and regulatory bodies. She left Lucent Technologies in 2000 to serve as partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. In 2006, Bradford served as senior advisor for human resources in the office of Senator Harry Reid and directed the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative. She was appointed deputy sergeant at arms in 2010 and served for three years before joining the Bockorny Group as principal. In 2015, she founded Palladian Hill Strategies, a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.
Bradford has served on the board of visitors at Duke University Law School and the board of trustees of American University. She also served as vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club and as a member of the board of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States Golf Association. In 1991, Bradford was named one of Black Enterprise’s 21 Women of Power and Influence in Corporate America.
Bradford and her husband have one daughter and reside in Washington, D.C.
Martina Bradford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 26, 2019.