Candiace Dillard Bassett is a sassy and savvy 32-year-old former Miss United States born in Biloxi, Mississippi. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, with her Air Force physician parents and siblings, Chris and Crystal. At an early age, Candiace learned what excellence looked like from observing her parents, who worked in different facets of the medical field. A graduate of Howard University, she served a tenure in the White House Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, where she liaised between the White House and the African American community for President Barack Obama. She later traded in her suit and heels for the campaign trail, where she served as a staffer for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. In 2013, Candiace won the crown and title of Miss United States and hasn’t looked back since. She has competed in the pageant industry for many years and holds top placements in the Sunburst, National American Miss, National Miss American Coed, Georgia Miss American Coed, Miss Maryland USA, Miss District of Columbia USA, and Miss United States pageant systems.
As an entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of Candiace Dillard Pageant Consulting, cofounder of Prima Hair Collection by Candiace Dillard, and co-owner of Chateau Salon Suites. In 2009, she also founded an organization called My Sister’s Keeper, a mentorship and women’s empowerment organization designed to give young girls the opportunity to interact with women in their communities. Candiace is married to her soulmate, restaurateur Chris Bassett, whom she met while they were both working at a restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. They were friends for several years before the courtship blossomed into undeniable love, and Chris proposed to her with a surprise engagement that included all of her family and friends. When she is not running her numerous businesses or being a pageant girl, Candiace can be found curled up with a good book, as reading is her favorite pastime.