March 13, 2014

JOB(S) OF THE WEEK: SKDKnickerbocker, Senior Associate & Vice President

SKDKnickerbocker logoSKDKnickerbocker, a leading Democratic strategic communications firm, is looking for Senior Associate and Vice President candidates to join its rapidly expanding public affairs team in Washington, D.C.

Ideal candidates must have:

  • Previous experience working on Capitol Hill and political campaigns, in public affairs firms, for advocacy groups, and/or in journalism.
  • A proven track record of placing national print and broadcast stories.
  • A clear understanding of social media strategies for communications campaigns.
  • The ability to handle multiple assignments.
  • Strong research and writing skills.

Ideal Senior Associate candidates have 3 to 5 years of relevant experience beating deadlines, drafting great copy and anticipating the next step.

Vice President candidates have 5 to 7 years of experience that includes leading teams, managing clients and/or directing communications campaigns. We are looking for leaders who thrive off of the campaign war room pace and are focused on winning our clients’ Election Days.

This employer is an equal opportunity employer with a strong dedication to diversity.

TO APPLY: If you want to join our team of smart, amazing PR pros, send your resume to us: Jobs@skdknick.com. (PF tipster)

February 03, 2014

Exclusive: Former Bush administration aide Ditto Hangs a Shingle

Ditto Publi Affairs logoTrey Ditto, a former Deputy Press Secretary in the Bush administration at the U.S. Department of Education, launched his own firm, Ditto Public Affairs (DPA), based in Brooklyn, NY.

DPA will serve various clients in the health care, financial services, technology, entertainment, legal and public policy industries.

Trey was formerly a V.P. with Emanate PR.

Joining him is Nicolle Gallo, who joins from the public affairs team at Edelman in D.C.  Previously she worked for Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), the New Jersey Republican State Committee and Governor Chris Christie's (R-NJ) gubernatorial campaign in communication roles.  (PF tipster)

July 22, 2013

Former Biden Flack Alexander Joins FTI Consulting

Elizabeth AlexanderFirst reported by Politico’s Mike Allen, FTI Consulting Inc., the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value announced that Elizabeth Alexander, a former aide and Press Secretary to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has been appointed Managing Director with the firm's Strategic Communications segment in Washington, D.C.

Alexander will advise clients on communications strategies involving legislative, regulatory and investigative matters across broad sectors of the economy.

Alexander began her five-year tenure with Vice President Biden in 2006, first as then-Sen. Biden's (D-DE) Press Secretary and later as Communications Director.

Most recently, Alexander worked for the U.S. Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor, first in Washington, DC, and then in Alexandria, VA.

During this time, Alexander, who earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, managed and prosecuted a large criminal caseload along with advising the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia on strategic planning and media relations.

Alexander is a graduate of Texas A&M University.  (Politico’s Mike Allen)

Keil Departing Purple Strategies for ExxonMobil in Dallas

Dick KeilPolitico’s Mike Allen reports that Dick Keil is leaving Purple Strategies to move to Dallas to join ExxonMobil as Senior Adviser for Global Public Affairs.

According to Allen, “he joins the world's largest corporation (by revenue) after nearly seven years in media consulting, and, prior to that, a 20-year career at AP and Bloomberg.  Joining him in Dallas will be his fiancée, Hillary DeParde. His proposal to Hillary occurred on June 21, in Dallas, the night before they went on their first house-hunting trip.” (Politico’s Mike Allen)

June 09, 2013

Remainders: Items We Missed

Sorry we missed youCatching up on some important flack items we missed:

  • Justin DeJong is the new Vice President, Editorial and Channel Strategy at the American Medical Association.  He was the Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, overseeing media relations for the third largest federal department, including for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative.  DeJong is a veteran of the 2008 Obama campaign and former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s office.
  • Todd Winer is the new Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).  He previously worked for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and as a speechwriter for former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).
  • White House flack Clark Stevens is the new Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Stevens was an Assistant White House Press Secretary and from 2009-2010 was first Press Secretary at FEMA, then at DHS.  He previously worked on the 2008 Obama campaign and 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee.
  • Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Jennifer Hoelzer launched an LA-based public affairs firm, IOC Strategies, Inc.  Hoelzer has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and has consulted on the HBO series, “Veep.”  She previously worked for U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and as a writer/producer for The McLaughlin Group.

May 22, 2013

Research Firm Gravity Strategic Communications Celebrates Two Years, Announces New Hires

Gravity Strategic Communications logoGravity Strategic Communications, which is run by Ted Newton and serves political and corporate clients with strategic communications needs, with a focus on opposition research, announced new staff and new office space just two years after its founding.  Gravity performed the vice presidential vetting for the Romney-Ryan campaign last year.

Christopher Oman has been promoted to Research Analyst.  An Iowa native, Oman first joined Gravity in 2011 and spent much of 2012 working with Gravity on Gov. Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign, including participating in the Vice-Presidential vetting process and working with the communications department on research and rapid response.  Oman has previously worked at Cornerstone Government Affairs, DCI Group, the Republican Governor’s Association’s political department, and in the office of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Oman is a graduate of The George Washington University.

Daniel Mintz joins the firm as Research Associate.  A New Jersey native, previously worked as a Research Analyst at Berkowitz Public Affairs.  He also served as Director of New Media on the Scott Sipprelle for Congress campaign, in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Press and Communications office, and for Jamestown Associates, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ.  Mintz is currently pursuing a degree at The George Washington University.

As part of its growth, Gravity also recently moved in to new office space at 1232 M Street NW.  (PF tipster)

May 21, 2013

Former NRSC Flack Walsh joins Singer Bonjean Strategies

Brian WalshFirst reported in Politico’sPlaybook,” Brian J. Walsh is joining the bipartisan public affairs and strategic communications firm Singer Bonjean Strategies as a partner.  The firm was founded in 2008 by Republican communicator Ron Bonjean and Democratic communicator Phil Singer.

Walsh joins the firm after more than 15 years on Capitol Hill and dozens of campaigns at the local, state and federal levels.

Walsh served as Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) Communications Director, first in his official Senate office and then at the National Republican Senatorial Committee for both the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.  (Politico’s “Playbook”)

May 14, 2013

REMAINDERS: McDowell joins Blue Engine; Beirne & Vargas To WH; Gor to Rand 2016

Occasionally, we miss some important flack-related items.  Here are a few:

  • First reported in Politico’sPlaybook,” Amber McDowell has joined DC-based strategic communications firm Blue Engine Message & Media.  She was most recently Communications Director for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).  She also was Speechwriter and Press Secretary for Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).  She worked on the Obama-Biden re-elect and at the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte.  (Politico’s “Playbook”)
  • Katherine Vargas is the new Director of Hispanic Media at the White House.  She was previously Communications Director for the National Immigration Forum, and also worked at the National Immigration Law Center and the International Rescue Committee.  She is a native of Colombia who immigrated to the U.S. in 1997.
  • Katie Beirne, the Staff Director for the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center has replaced Jennifer Palmieri as Deputy Communications Director at the White House.  According to Politico, she will be in charge of outreach to surrogates and message coordination with outside groups.  (Politico)
  • Sergio Gor has been named Spokesman for RAND PAC, the political action committee, and presidential campaign in waiting, of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).  Gor was formerly spokesman for Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) and on the campaign of Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA. (Politico)

April 08, 2013

Vought Hangs a Shingle

Mary VoughtOn Friday Mary Vought announced that she was leaving Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) office, where she was Senior Communications Adviser, to launch her own communications consulting company, Vought Strategies.

Prior to working for Sen. Johnson Vought was Press Secretary for Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), when he was Chairman of the House Republican Conference.  (PF tipster)

March 29, 2013

Burgos joins OnMessage

Joanna BurgosFirst reported by Roll Call’sShop Talk,” Alexandria, VA-based Republican consulting firm has hired Joanna Burgos, a “top House Republican campaign operative.”

Last cycle Burgos managed the National Republican Campaign Committee’s (NRCC) independent expenditure.

She was previously Deputy Communications Director for the NRCC, Press Secretary for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN, Communications Director for the Nevada Republican Party and senior account executive at Racepoint Group.  She also worked on the 2008 Mitt Romney presidential campaign and as Assistant Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

She’s a graduate of the University of Florida.  (Roll Call’s “Shop Talk”)

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    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

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    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
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    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @BlainR

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