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April 14, 2010

Wash Post: Obama spokesman Gibbs sounds eager for future strategist role

Robert_Gibbs_300 The Washington Post profiles White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in his roles as lead communicator and sometimes strategist. 

Here's an excerpt: "Gibbs serves two roles in the White House. He is the public face and mouthpiece of the administration, but he is also the consummate presidential confidant -- the Obama traveling buddy during the campaign and ever-trusted Oval Office adviser. The Alabama native, who has been shaped by the Capitol Hill fray and campaign knife fights, is considered, along with Obama's presidential campaign manager, David Plouffe, a top candidate to take the place of senior strategist David Axelrod when the Washington-weary keeper of the Obama message leaves to focus on the 2012 reelection. That isn't happening anytime soon, which means Gibbs is stuck on double duty."

April 12, 2010

War Correspondent Takes on a New Battle

HessRollCall profiles Pamela Hess who blazed her own trail to Capitol Hill, though there was little to suggest that her prior career manifestations would lead to Congress. In March, Hess, 42, started as communications director for Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), bringing nearly two decades of experience as a journalist, most recently as an intelligence correspondent for the Associated Press, to the job. 

Hess’ jump into the legislative branch had little to do with the desire for change. Instead, the move embodies words she lives by: “Do what scares you.”

“Journalism is so fun, but when I look back at my résumé, it’s all I’ve ever done,” Hess said. “This was a great opportunity to be able to use what I know in the craft of journalism plus what I know academically from what I’ve covered for 15 years, which is national security and intelligence and war. That all combines in a great way in her office.”

Harman sits on the House Energy and Commerce and Homeland Security committees. Hess had been in the orbit of the Harman office for years by covering intelligence and national security. (RollCall)

April 01, 2010

Owens, Former Aide to ACLU, Constitution Project, Named Policy Associate for Facebook

Facebook DC flack Corey Owens has been named Director of Policy Associate for Facebook.  He previously worked in the DC office of the ACLU, then as Press Secretary at the Constitution Project. Most recently he served as a spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.  (PF tipster)

Kurtz, Former Press Secretary for Republican Jewish Coalition, Named Director of Public Affairs for ASMEA

ASMEA Suzanne Kurtz has been named director of public affairs for the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). Founded by acclaimed Professors Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, ASMEA is a new academic society dedicated to promoting the highest standards of research and teaching in Middle Eastern and African studies, and related fields.


Previously, Kurtz served as press secretary for the Republican Jewish Coalition and as the special assistant to the Israeli ambassador to the U.N.


A Philadelphia native, she graduated from Temple University with Bachelor of Science and Masters of Journalism degrees.  (PF tipster)


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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.
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