Adrian Miller is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown University Law School. After practicing law in Denver for several years, Adrian became a special assistant to President William Jefferson Clinton and the Deputy Director of the President’s Initiative for One America. The President’s Initiative for One America was the first free-standing White House office in history to examine and focus on closing the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities in this country. The One America office built on the foundation laid by the President’s Initiative on Race by promoting the President’s goals of educating the American public about race, and coordinating the work of the White House and federal agencies to carry out the President’s vision of One America.
After his White House stint, Adrian returned to Colorado and served as the General Counsel and Director of Outreach at the Bell Policy Center—a progressive think tank dedicated to making Colorado a state of opportunity for all. In 2007, Adrian became the Deputy Legislative Director for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. By the end of Gov. Ritter’s first term, Adrian was a Senior Policy Analyst for Gov. Ritter where he handled homeland security, military and veterans’ issues. Adrian was also Governor Ritter’s point person on the Colorado Campaign to End Childhood Hunger which significantly increased participation in the summer food and school breakfast programs.
Adrian is currently the Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches. He is the first African American and the first layperson to hold that position.
Adrian is also a culinary historian and a certified barbecue judge who has lectured around the country on such topics as: Black Chefs in the White House, chicken and waffles, hot sauce, kosher soul food, red drinks, soda pop, and soul food. Adrian’s book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time was published by the University of North Carolina Press in August 2013. Soul Food won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship.
His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas was published on President’s Day, February 20, 2017. The President’s Kitchen Cabinet has been nominated for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work–Non-Fiction.”
Adrian recently received the “2018 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame” Award for his work on African American foodways.
Adrian is currently working on Black Smoke, a history of African American barbecue culture.