February 14, 2017

The Leadership Conference Announces Inouye & Hernandez Join Comms Team

Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund announced the addition of new senior staff members: Shin Inouye, Director of Communications and Media Relations; and Karely Hernandez, Communications Manager.

Shin InouyeShin Inouye is the Director of Communications and Media Relations. As an appointee in the Obama Administration, Inouye served the last two years as Press Secretary and Acting Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental and External Affairs at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Prior to that, he worked for six years as the Director of Specialty Media for the White House Office of Communications, serving as a spokesman for media outlets that serve the AAPI, Faith, LGBT, Native American, Rural, Veterans and college communities, among others. He previously worked on the 2008 Obama for America campaign, and was Communications Director for Congressman Jerrold Nadler, D. N.Y., and a Senior Legislative Communications Associate at the ACLU’s Washington office. He graduated with departmental honors from the Johns Hopkins University.

Karely HernandezKarely Hernandez is the Communications Manager. She most recently served on the Hillary for America campaign. There, she worked closely with the Coalitions press team as a national Hispanic media associate for the general campaign and as a Hispanic media spokesperson for the coordinated campaign in North Carolina. Prior to that, she worked for Senator Harry Reid, D. Nev., where she served as Press Secretary for Hispanic media. Born in Los Angeles, California, Hernandez is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in Global and International Studies. (PF tipster)

February 11, 2017

RNC Chair McDaniel Names Mahoney Comms Director

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced additional key senior staff positions, including Ryan Mahoney as Communications Director for the 2018 cycle.

RNC logoMahoney is a seasoned communications operative and takes over as Communications Director after serving as the RNC’s Deputy Communications Director during the 2016 election cycle.

He was a Regional Press Secretary for the RNC during the 2012 election and oversaw all regional communications for the committee during the 2014 cycle.

In 2014, Mahoney also spearheaded theRNC’s press efforts surrounding the committee’s site selection for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Prior to joining the RNC, Mahoney served as Communications Director for the Maryland Republican Party and held various positions in the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s communications and political departments.

He's a graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Madison.(PF tipster)

January 21, 2016

Former Walker, RNC flack Kukowski to Manage Communications at 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland

Kirsten KukowskiKirsten Kukowski has been named Communications Director for the 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Kukowski was Communications Director for Scott Walker’s presidential campaign, and served as Press Secretary for the RNC and on Mark Kirk’s U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois.

January 20, 2016

Former Clinton WH Press Secretary Lockhart joins NFL at EVP, Communications

Joe LockhartFirst reported in Politico’s “Playbook,” Joe Lockhart, who served as Press Secretary in the Clinton White House, is leaving Glover Park Group (GPG) to join the NFL as Executive Vice President of Communications.

According to Politico’s Mike Allen, GPG has been a consultant to the NFL for several years. He will join the NFL in New York after the Super Bowl. (Politico “Playbook”)

August 10, 2015

Margaritis Joins Hilton Worldwide as Executive VP of Corporate Affairs

Bill MargaritisHilton Worldwide today announced that William Margaritis will become the company’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs starting in late August, based in the company’s global headquarters in McLean, VA. Margaritis previously served for 15 years as Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Investor Relations at FedEx Corporation.

At Hilton, Margaritis will oversee internal and external communications, government relations and corporate responsibility globally. He will report to Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide and will serve as a member of the company’s Executive Committee.

Margaritis comes to Hilton with 33 years of experience, having managed various facets of corporate and marketing communications, government affairs, investor relations and employee communications.  At FedEx, Margaritis led the strategic repositioning and rebranding communications programs for the company through an integrated customer and employee campaign.  He was also the architect of the Purple Promise, an award-winning internal cultural employee engagement multimedia initiative to create a common rallying platform for 300,000 team members across multiple operating companies around the world.  Margaritis implemented innovative strategic reputation programs that helped FedEx consistently earn top-tier rank in Fortune’s Most Admired Companies and Great Places to Work lists. 

Prior to FedEx, he served as Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing Communications for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Southwest Asia at Bechtel Corporation, based in London, UK. Previously he was the Manager for State Government Affairs for Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and also served as a Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Commerce Department in the Reagan Administration.  Margaritis began his career as a legislative assistant in the Michigan Senate and also served as the deputy director for the Reagan-Bush 1984 Presidential Campaign in Michigan.

He holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in Business from Michigan State University and is a past chairman of the board of the Arthur W. Page Society, the professional association of chief communications officers.  (Release)

July 19, 2015

Cruz adds Slobodien to U.S. Senate Office as Communications Director, Watson as Media Booker

Rachael SlobodienU.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced on Friday that he has named Rachael Slobodien as his new Communications Director and Heidi Watson as Media Booker and Press Assistant.

Slobodien previously worked at The Heritage Foundation as Manager of Media Affairs where she led the regional communications team and crafted messaging and strategy for Heritage’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity.

She has previously served as Press Secretary to then-U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY), as Senior Media Associate at Heritage in 2010 and as Communications Manager at the National Taxpayers Foundation.

A native of Little Rock, Slobodien holds a Bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University.  She is currently earning a Law Degree from The George Washington University.

Watson most recently worked as Press Assistant for the House Committee on Small Business, where she led social media efforts and contributed to graphic design and messaging under Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).

Watson moved to Washington, D.C. from Oklahoma in January 2015, she first interned for U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA). Prior to working on the Hill, her experience includes serving as Constituent Services Manager and Assistant Appointments Director for former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon. She also worked as Campaign Assistant during Shannon’s bid for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Watson earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and is a native of Ardmore, OK. (PF tipster)

July 12, 2015

Remainders: Gleischman to GPG; Mason to Albright-Stonebridge; Haulsee to Senate HELP Cmte; Litman to Google

RemaindersHere are some recent items that we missed:

  • Max Gleischman has joined Glover Park Group as Vice President.  He was most recently Director of Communications and Spokesperson for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.  Previously, he served as Communications Director for then-Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and for former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI).  (PF tipster)
  • Julie Mason, currently the White House Director of Special Projects in the Office of Vice President Biden, has started working as Vice President for Communications at the Albright-Stonebridge Group.  Previously she was Communications Director for Dr. Jill Biden, spokesperson at AOL Time Warner and a communications staffer in the Clinton White House for five years.  (Politico “Playbook)
  • Pinehurst, NC native Taylor Haulsee has been named Deputy Press Secretary for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).  She previously worked at FP1 Strategies.  (PF tipster)
  • Riva Litman has joined Google’s global communications and public affairs team in DC.  She was previously Communications Director for House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).  (Politico “Influence”)

July 08, 2015

Former Journalist and Obama Aide Douglass Named Global Head of Communications at Bloomberg

Linda DouglassBloomberg LP today that Linda Douglass will be joining Bloomberg Media Group as Global Head of Communications in September.

Douglass will oversee communications strategy and press relations for Bloomberg Media’s global multi-platform products, including digital, print, television, video, radio, and live events.

Douglass is a veteran in the fields of communications, media, and journalism.

She served most recently as the Senior Vice President for Global Communications at Atlantic Media, where she oversaw communications strategy for such initiatives as the digital transformation of The Atlantic and the launch of Quartz.

Prior to that, Douglass worked for President Obama in various roles, including Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform and senior advisor to his 2008 presidential campaign. She has had a long career as a broadcast journalist, covering politics and government.

Douglass has worked as a journalist in Washington D.C. and, earlier, in Los Angeles. She was a Washington-based correspondent for CBS News, specializing in health care and campaign finance.

She later joined ABC News, where she spent eight years as the Chief Capitol Hill Correspondent, receiving the Everett Dirksen Award for Excellence in Coverage of Congress.  (PF tipster)

July 06, 2015

AP’s Pickler Joins Glover Park Group

Nedra PicklerStrategic communications and government affairs firm The Glover Park Group (GPG) today announced that Nedra Pickler has joined as a Managing Director.  Pickler will work in the Strategic Communications practice, providing strategic and media counsel for the firm’s clients.

Pickler, a veteran journalist, joins GPG after spending 17 years at The Associated Press (AP), most recently serving as a White House reporter covering the second term of the Obama Administration. Pickler previously covered the second Bush Administration. In both of those roles, she covered breaking news, questioned both presidents extensively and reported from abroad on presidential trips across five continents.

Pickler also served as federal courts reporter in Washington, DC, and covered presidential campaigns for the AP during both the 2004 and 2008 election cycles. Pickler was part of the AP team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign and received several awards from the AP during her tenure, including the John L. Dougherty Award for coverage of the Ford-Firestone tire scandal, and was twice the recipient of the global Beat of the Week award for breaking news reporting. She started her career in the Michigan bureau of the AP. (PF tipster)

June 22, 2015

BPC Announces Comms Vet Traynham as New Vice President of Communications

Robert TraynhamThe Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today announced the hiring of veteran communications professional Robert Traynham as Vice President of Communications.

Traynham will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communications program and leading a team to ensure BPC public relations, events, media, print and digital content are all aligned with the organization’s mission and to improve its reach.

He has previously worked in the private sector for Comcast as their Washington Bureau Chief and host of a public affairs show, and for 10 years in the U.S. Senate as a Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and the Senate Republican Conference. He was also a senior advisor for Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign.

He is a native of Yeadon, PA.  He currently serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Cheyney University and often appears on MSNBC as a political analyst. (PF tipster)

About the Authors

  • FOLLOW US: @potomacflacks
  • Matt Mackowiak - Site Manager
    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

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    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.
    Follow her on Twitter: @ScottCircle

    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

    This is a personal group blog whose contents in no way reflect the views of any author's employer.

    Got a tip? Email Matt, Blain or Laura (anonymity guaranteed)

    Potomac Flacks Founder and Author Emeritus: Adam Kovacevich
Powered by TypePad