Christine Jahnke, Speech Coach for Women in Politics, Dies at 57

Ms. Jahnke advised, “Seize the election night spotlight to remind voters why you ran in the first place.”

Christine Kay Jahnke was born on Aug. 4, 1963, in Albert Lea, a small town in southern Minnesota. Her father, Wayne Henry Jahnke, is a retired pipe fitter at a food-processing facility, and her mother, Sharon Kay (Klopp) Jahnke, is a retired administrative assistant at a community college.

In addition to her parents and her husband, she is survived by her sister, Lisa Hanson, and her brother, Michael.

Ms. Jahnke grew up in Albert Lea and went to Winona State University in Minnesota, where she studied mass communications, graduating in 1985. In 2012, she earned a master’s degree in liberal studies from Georgetown University.

After her undergraduate studies, she worked briefly at a television station in Rochester, Minn., inspired in part by “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which was set in a TV newsroom in Minneapolis. Feeling more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, Ms. Jahnke left to join Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential campaign as an organizer and press aide.

That led her to Washington and a job with Sheehan Associates, a firm that specializes in media training. Ms. Jahnke was among the first to focus on women almost exclusively, as they started to enter politics in significant numbers.

“She saw this need for women to have a more prominent role in public life, and she purposefully focused on that,” Mr. Hagen, her husband, said. “Few people have that clarity,” he added, “where they see a need and step in and advance that vision.”