Key People-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
updated October 26, 2007  Important Note:  This page has a lot of gaps.
Early Campaign | Primary | General Election
OBAMA FOR AMERICA  Early Campaign Edition
A sketch of how the campaign looked in early- to mid-Sept. 2007 (In late Sept. and Oct. 2007 the campaign deployed many political and field staff out to states).
Headquarters: 233 N. Michigan Ave., 11th Floor, Chicago, Illinois.
...the Obama Exploratory Committee filed with the FEC on Jan. 16, 2007; Obama for America was announced Feb. 10, 2007.
...moved from smaller space on the 17th Floor to the 11th Floor in beginning of April 2007; 33,000 square feet, staff of about 100.


Jason Horowitz.  "Barack Attack."  New York Observer.  March 26, 2007.
Lynn Sweet.  "Obama's new HQ has room to move." Chicago Sun-Times.  April 6, 2007.
John McCormick.  "Chicago is heart, brain center of Obama campaign."  Chicago Tribune.  June 14, 2007.
Lynn Sweet.  "Obama shakes up his campaign staff."  Chicago Sun-Times.  October 11, 2007.
Campaign Manager David Plouffe
(reported by Lynn Sweet on Jan. 11, 2007)  Joined AKP Message & Media in winter 2000 and became a named partner in Feb. 2004.  Senior political advisor on Dick Gephardt's 2004 presidential campaign.  Executive director of the DCCC, 1999-2000.  Gephardt's deputy chief of staff, 1997-98.  Managed Bob Torricelli's 1996 campaign for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.  Campaign director at the DSCC in 1995.  Managed Attorney General Charlie Oberly's unsuccessful U.S. Senate race against Sen. Bill Roth in Delaware in 1994.  Managed Rep. John Olver's (D-MA) 1992 re-election campaign.  Served as a state field director for Sen. Tom Harkin's 1992 presidential campaign, after serving as deputy field director in Harkin's 1990 U.S. Senate race.
Media Strategist David Axelrod
Founded, in 1985, and is a principal of the Chicago-based campaign media firm now known as AKP Message & Media (formerly Axelrod & Associates); has worked on over 150 campaigns at the local, state and national levels.  Did the message and media campaign for Obama's 2004 primary campaign.  Served as media consultant on Sen. John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign.  Managed Paul Simon's 1984 U.S. Senate race where he upset Sen. Charles Percy.  Eight years as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, covering national, state and local politics. Graduate of the University of Chicago.  Native of New York City.
Early States Steve Hildebrand
(travelled with Obama when he did the Harkin Steak Fry)  South Dakota based principal of Hildebrand Tewes Consulting, Inc..  Managed Sen. Tom Daschle's 2004 re-election campaign, a narrow loss to John Thune.  Managed Sen. Tim Johnson's 2002 re-election campaign, a narrow win over Rep. John Thune.  Ran the Women Vote! Program for EMILY's List in 2000.  Ran the Iowa caucuses for Vice President Al Gore in 1999-2000.  Political director at the DSCC in 1997-98.  Midwest Political Director at the DNC in 1996.  Executive director of the Minnesota DFL from mid-August 1995 to mid-March 1996.  Finance director for Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III's unsuccessful 1988 Senate campaign.
Chief Operating Officer Betsy Myers
(announced by KSG on Feb. 13, 2007 but started transitioning to the position on Jan. 19)  Previously at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government as executive director of the Center for Public Leadership and earlier as director of alumni programs and external relations at the Kennedy School.  Senior official in the Clinton Administration.  Served two years with the U.S. Small Business Administration as Associate Deputy Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development.  Launched and directed the first White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach, serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Women's Initiatives, 1995-97.  Director at the Office of Women's Business Ownership at the SBA.  MPA from the Kennedy School, 2000.  Sister of Dee Dee Myers, Clinton's first press secretary.

CFO - Marianne Markowitz  verifying. ed -07/07

Political Director Matt Nugen
(reported by Ben Smith, The Politico, Feb. 28, 2007)  Nugen comes to the campaign from position as Director of the Chairman's Office at the DNC.  Director of Delegate Operations for Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination (announced Feb. 2003).  Vice President of Operations for Kwame Building Group, Inc.  In 2000, he served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.  From 1998-2000, Nugen was the Deputy Director and then the Director for the Office of the Secretary at the DNC.  He spent time as a regional field director for the '98 South Carolina Coordinated Campaign and as the field director for the 2000 South Carolina tracking operation.

    Assistant to the National Political Director: Bobby Schmuck
Deputy Political Director Eureka Gilkey
National training director for EMILY's List during the 2006 cycle.  Deputy political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America during the 2004 election cycle.  PAC coordinator at the AFL-CIO during the 2002 election cycle.  Message and polling coordinator at the DNC.  Gilkey has worked on several campaigns, including Diane E. Watson for Congress (CA-32) and Ron Kirk for U.S. Senate in Texas.  First job out of college was political assistant at EMILY's List.  Graduate of Howard University.  Texas native.  [Note. As national training director for EMILY's List, Gilkey collaborated with Obama's Leadership PAC, Hopefund, to launch "Yes We Can" -- a training program for young African American and Hispanic activists].

Regional Political Directors
Southern Erica Brooks
Director of the Office of National Development at the Democratic National Committee starting in Spring 2001.  Deputy state director to U.S. Sen. Zell Miller; deputy campaign manager on Zell Miller's 2000 U.S. Senate campaign.  Senior scheduler to U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, 1996-98.  In 1994, Brooks became a special assistant to then-Secretary of State Max Cleland.
Western Raul Alvillar
Worked for Sen. John Kerry's Keeping America's Promise PAC.  In 2004 Alvillar served as political director on the New Mexico Democratic Coordinated Campaign, and earlier worked in the boiler room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, worked as a delegate tracker at Kerry headquarters in DC, and served as 1st CD regional field director on Kerry's NM caucus campaign, 2003-Feb. 3, 2004.  Worked for the ATR Institute at the University of New Mexico.  Deputy field organizer on Richard Romero for Congress, 2002.  District scheduler for Congressman Tom Udall, 2000-02.  Volunteer coordinator on the 2000 NM Coordinated Campaign.  Started off in politics working for the Democratic Party of New Mexico as originator of the party's e-news newsletter.  Studied political science at the University of New Mexico.  Born and raised in New Mexico.
Northeast Nancy Hogan
Senior advisor to former Sen. Tom Daschle at Alston & Bird LLP, 2005-07.  Worked for NYC2012, New York City’s Olympic bid organization in 2005.  Deputy field director for Sen. Tom Daschle’s 2004 Senate campaign.  Assistant to the chief of staff in the Senate Democratic Leader's Office, 2003-04.  Field organizer for South Dakota Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign, 2002.  Worked for The Harbour Group.  Graduate of Emory University.
Midwest Michael Dorsey
Directed the Rhode Island Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2006.   Worked on Patty Wetterling's U.S. Senate campaign in Minnesota (she withdrew in Jan. 2006). Deputy research director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the 2004 cycle.  Graduate of the University of Kansas.  Minnesota native.
Political Outreach Coordinator Brooks Banton
A deputy director (Midwest) in the Finance Department at the DNC.
National Outreach Director Rudi Shenk
Oversaw Kerry-Edwards outreach to CEOs and small business owners during '04 cycle.  Aide to New York State Comptroller, H. Carl McCall during his 2002 gubernatorial bid.  Government affairs associate for Napster.  Undergraduate degree from NYU; J.D. from Fordham Law School.  Grew up in Portland, Oregon.

On September 16, 2007 the campaign announced its National Advisory Outreach Team ("work with Senator Obama and his campaign team to ensure that the campaign platform is inclusive of the ideas of all groups.")

Preeta Bansal, AAPI Outreach
Assemblywoman Karen Bass, African American Outreach
Rep. Gwen Moore, African American Outreach
Jim Zogby, Arab American Outreach
Reverend Willie Barrow, Faith Outreach
Reverend Joseph Lowery, Faith Outreach
Rep. Robert Wexler, Jewish Outreach
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Latino Outreach
Majority Leader Gloria Romero, Latino Outreach
Stampp Corbin, LGBT Outreach
Tobias Wolff, LGBT Outreach
Wizipan Garriott, Native American Outreach
General Scott Gration, Veteran Outreach
John Hurley, Veteran Outreach
Director of Religious Affairs Joshua DuBois
Legislative correspondent in Obama's Senate office from 2005-07.  MPA from Princeton, 2005.
Director of Women for Obama Becky Carroll
(started Oct. 2007)  Came to the campaign from position as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Blagojevich; started working for Blagojevich in early 2003.  Worked on Rahm Emanuel's successful campaign for Congress in 2002.  Spokesperson for the 2000 Illinois Democratic Coordinated campaign.  Spokesperson for Chicago Department of Planning and Development.  Press secretary on Chicago lawyer John Schmidt's 1998 gubernatorial primary campaign.  Public relations director for the Chicago Department of Housing.  Assistant communications director of the Mayor Daley's 1995 re-election campaign.  Undergraduate degree in political science and communications from Loyola University Chicago, 1994.  Native of Chicago.
National Director of Delegate Operations Jeff Berman
Berman fulfilled a similar role on both of Dick Gephardt's presidential campaigns.
Deputy Director For Delegate Selection Myesha Ward
Deputy political director for Sen. John Kerry's PAC Keeping America's Promise.  In 2004 Ward worked as deputy GOTV director - Milwaukee on the Kerry-Edwards campaign, as deputy political director for Southern and Northeastern States on Kerry-Edwards, in the boiler room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, and as a delegate tracker for Southern states at Kerry headquarters in Washington, DC.  Howard University alumna.
Delegates and Congressional Relations Coordinator Michael Robertson

Political Assistant Eugene Kang


Field Director Cuauhtemoc "Temo" Figueroa
(Feb. 2007)  As assistant political director at AFSCME, Figueroa oversaw the union's independent expenditure program during the 2006 elections.  Administrator of AFSCME Council 18, New Mexico.  Served on the DNC's Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling.
West Buffy Wicks
Political director for Wake Up Wal-Mart.  Organizer in the 'Anti-War in Iraq' campaign in San Francisco, CA.  Co-founded Hoi-Polloi, "a people’s organization created by a small group of conscientious thinkers striving for world peace."  Campaign manager on Jay Fetcher's 2004 state Senate campaign in Colorado.  Des Moines organizer on Howard Dean's Iowa caucus campaign.  Graduate of the University of Washington, 1998.
Northeast Ray Rivera
In 2006 Rivera was executive director of Colorado Senate Majority, a 527 organization that worked to build Democrats' majority in the state Senate.  Worked several years for AFSCME, starting as an organizer, then Nevada political director and finally Colorado political director.  Field director on state Sen. Richard Romero's 2002 congressional campaign against Rep. Heather Wilson in NM's 1st CD.  Youth coordinator on the Gore-Lieberman campaign in New Mexico in Fall of 2000.  Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of New Mexico, 2001.  From New Mexico.
Midwest Chris Miller
National field director for 21st Century Democrats.  Worked on Al Gore's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign.
South Trista Allen
Spokesperson for the Dallas County District Attorney, 2007.  Political director on Chris Bell for Governor, 2006.  Executive director of the Women's Health Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives, 2004-05.  A field organizer for Kerry/Edwards on the closing push in New Mexico, 2004.  Membership director for the Texas Council on Family Violence, 2001-02.  Comptroller for the Texas Democratic Party, 1999-2001.  Graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, 1998.
Youth Vote Director Hans Reimer
Reimer was previously political and issues director for Rock the Vote; he joined Rock the Vote in 2003.  A resident of Silver Spring, MD, he ran for Montgomery County Council in 2006.  Senior policy analyst directing the Social Security Information Project at the Institute for America's Future, 2001-03.  Director of the 2030 Center, a public policy organization for young adults focused on economic issues and particularly Social Security, 1996-2001.  Graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1995.  Born and raised in Oakland, CA.
Deputy Youth Vote Director Mary Hodge
Experience includes membership communications coordinator at the AFL-CIO and Campaign Corps coordinator at EMILY's List.

Communications Director Robert Gibbs
Joined Obama shortly after he won the March 16, 2004 U.S. Senate primary.  Press secretary for John Kerry for President for the first 10-plus months; resigned Nov. 2003.  Press secretary for the DSCC, 2001-02.  Communications director for Debbie Stabenow's U.S. Senate campaign, 1999-2000.  Press secretary to Sen. Max Cleland, 1999.  Communications director for Fritz Hollings' 1998 re-election campaign.
National Press Secretary Bill Burton
(from Jan. 2007)  Communications director at the DCCC for the 2006 cycle (started March 2005).  Came to the DCCC from the office of Sen. Richard Durbin (IL). Served as a Regional Communications Director on John Kerry's presidential campaign.  Press Secretary for Rep. Dick Gephardt's Iowa caucus campaign.  Press secretary to Sen. Tom Harkin, 2001-03.  Earlier worked for U.S. Rep. Bill Luther.  Originally from Buffalo, NY.
Traveling Press Secretary Dan Pfeiffer
Communications director for Sen. Evan Bayh's All America PAC (started Sept. 2006); came to the PAC from Bayh's Senate office, where he started in 2005.  Deputy campaign manager on Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2004.  Worked on Sen. Tim Johnson's (D-SD) successful 2002 re-election campaign.  Communications director at the Democratic Governors Association.
Deputy Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Spokeswoman at the DCCC in the 2006 cycle.  Communications director to Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY).  In Fall 2004 worked on the Kerry campaign doing press for the Kerry/Heinz children.  Deputy communications director and earlier assistant to the state director on Sen. John Kerry's 2003-04 Iowa caucus campaign.  Field organizer for the Iowa Democratic Party's Coordinated Campaign in 2002.  Graduate of the College of William and Mary; studied English and sociology.  From Stamford, CT.
Director of Communications Planning Liz Oxhorn
(CQ People on the Move via Potomac Flacks May 29, 2007)  Oxhorn came to the campaign from her position as deputy communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau
Worked in Obama's Senate office.  Deputy director of speechwriting on the Kerry-Edwards campaign; started on John Kerry for President early on as national press assistant.  Graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester,  Mass., 2003 with a degree in political science; class valedictorian.  Worked as a press intern for Kerry in Spring 2001.  From North Reading, Mass.
Speechwriter Adam Frankel
Research assistant to Theodore Sorensen and completed a fellowship with the Office of Counter-terrorism at the State Department.  Speechwriter and led the speechwriting research team on the Kerry campaign (took leave from graduate studies at the London School of Economics to join the campaign) >.  Graduate of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 2003; he was president of the College Democrats, program director of Head Start, columnist for the Daily Princetonian, and a founder of the campus chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign.
Speechwriter Ben Rhodes
Special Assistant to President Lee H. Hamilton at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars starting in June 2002, and also a freelance speechwriter based in Washington, DC.  Author, with Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (Knopf, 2006).  Previously, he taught and worked in local politics in New York City.

New Media Director Joe Rospars
On leave from Blue State Digital where he is a founding partner.  Part of Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign Internet team, where he wrote and edited emails and also worked on message development, online brand building, and grassroots organizing.  Prior to the campaign, he taught English in Stockholm, Sweden and wrote for, a political blog.  Bachelor's degree in political science from The George Washington University.  Originally from Long Island.

Organizing: Chris Hughes, Scott Goodstein.  Video: Jessica Slider, Chris Northcross. Writer: Sam Graham-Felsen.  More: Jon Jones, Michael Slaby, Udai Rohatgi.

Chief Technology Officer Kevin Malover
Headed the technology team that started up BuySide Realty, an online buyer's agent, in 2005-06.  Founding CIO of Orbitz, the travel Web site co-owned by several airlines, from April 2000 (third employee) through 2004.  Worked for four years as Director of Internet Network Operation at Ameritech Interactive Media Services.  Previously worked with Ameritech New Media Enterprises directing the integration testing of the company`s broadband analog and interactive digital video services.  Joined Ameritech in 1979.  B.S. in mathematics/computer science from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan; M.B.A. from Oakland University in California.

Senior Policy Strategist Heather Higginbottom
Longtime aide to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA); announced as his legislative director in Feb. 2006.  Deputy national policy director on Kerry's presidential campaign, where she oversaw the development of all domestic policies for the primary and general elections.  Deputy legislative director in Kerry’s Washington Senate office, 1999-2003.  M.P.P. from the George Washington University School of Public Policy.  Undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester.
Deputy Policy Director Carlos Monje
Special assistant for policy and communications in Obama's Senate office.  Legislative assistant in Sen. Ken Salazar's Senate office.  Spokesman on Erskine Bowles' 2004 U.S. Senate campaign in North Carolina.  Worked on Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign after serving as deputy press secretary in his Senate office.
Deputy Policy Director Danielle Gray
Leave of absence from position as litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.  Clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer October term 2005.  Worked on the policy staff of Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.  Clerked for Judge Merrick Garland.  J.D. from Harvard Law School, 2003.  Undergraduate degree from Duke University.  Originally from Long Island.
lead Economic Policy Advisor Austan D. Goolsbee
Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; started at University of Chicago GSB as Assistant Professor of Economics in 1995.  Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 1995; M.A. in economics from Yale University, May 1991; B.A. in economics from Yale University, May 1991.  Goolsbee wrote the "Dismal Science" column for Slate in 2005-06 and has written the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times since April 2006.
Foreign Policy Advisor Denis McDonough
Senior fellow and senior advisor to Distinguished Senior Fellow Tom Daschle at the Center for American Progress.  Legislative director for Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado. Foreign Policy Adviser to Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, July 2000 to Dec. 2004. Fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation of Stuttgart, Germany, 1999-2000. Member of the Democratic professional staff of the House International Relations Committee, where he was focused on U.S. policy in Latin America, 1996-99.  Master's degree from Georgetown University, 1996; undergraduate degree from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, 1992.
see also: Lynn Sweet.  "Inside look at Obama's foreign policy team."  Chicago Sun-Times,  May 10, 2007.

Mark Alexander - served as Policy Director for the first seven-plus months of the campaign, before taking on the role of New Jersey State Director (announced October 9, 2007).  According to the press release he "will remain a Senior Advisor to Obama, continuing with special policy projects, political efforts, and strategic planning."  Alexander took a leave of absence from his position at Seton Hall starting end of Feb. 2007 to join the campaign.

Research Director Devorah Adler
(reported by Lynn Sweet on Jan. 11, 2007; started on the campaign on Jan. 24)  Research director at the DNC in the 2006 cycle (starting Sept. or Oct. 2005 through Jan. 23).  Previously deputy research director at the DNC under Mike Gehrke.  At the DSCC in 2004.  Policy director for Ron Kirk’s 2002 U.S. Senate race.  Special Assistant in the Office of the Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle.  Has also worked for Nancy Pelosi.  Associate Director for Health Policy (Domestic Policy Council) in the Clinton Administration.  Graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Deputy Research Director Shauna Daly
(reported by Lynn Sweet on Jan. 11, 2007)  Deputy research director at the DNC in the 2006 cycle.  Experience includes work for Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign.

Scheduling and Advance Alyssa Mastromonaco
Political Director at Obama's HOPEFUND.  Deputy scheduling director on John Kerry for President, Inc.  Press secretary for Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA) in his congressional office in Washington.  Worked in Kerry's Senate office in Boston.  Worked in New York City for a number of years.  Graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998.  Grew up in Rhinebeck, NY.
Director of Advance Emmett Beliveau
Attorney at Patton Boggs, LLP.  J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  Undergraduate degree from Colby College, 1999.  Son of Severin Beliveau, a prominent Maine Democrat.

Chief of Staff Melissa Winter
Previously worked for Sen. Joe Lieberman (DI-CT), serving as his scheduler and executive assistant, including work on the Gore/Lieberman campaign in 2000 and scheduler on Lieberman's 2003-04 presidential campaign.
Communications Director Katie McCormick Lelyveld
A deputy communications director on John Kerry for President.  Associate at The Harbour Group, LLC.  Graduated from Georgetown University in 2001 with a B.A. in psychology and English; two years as a White House intern in the Office of former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Director of Correspondence Amy Lee Boonstra
Experience includes QA Analyst at SPSS Inc.; Statistical Analyst at Econometrics, Inc.  Ph.D. in sociology and demography from University of Michigan, 1997; A.B. in sociology and East Asian studies from University of Chicago, 1991.

Finance Director Julianna Smoot
Finance director at the DSCC in the 2006 cycle.  Veteran Democratic fundraiser; experience includes work for then Sen. Tom Daschle's DASH PAC, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and Sen. John Edwards.  Graduate of Smith College, 1989.
Deputy Finance Director Ami Copeland
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)'s 2006 re-election campaign.

Nine Fundraising Regions
note: this section is very sketchy!
Illinois - Jordan Kaplan
Sarah Rosenzwieg
Illinois Finance Committee
Co-Chairs: James Crown, president of Henry Crown and Co. and John Rogers, founder and CEO of Ariel Capital Management Inc.

New York - Jenny Yeager

Mid-Atlantic - Shomik Dutta
2005 graduate of Williams College.

Florida - Teddy Johnston
Chair: Kirk Wagar, attorney with Wagar Murray & Feit

California - Tammy Paster

Northwest - Melissa Schwartz
Director of Director Marketing Meaghan Burdick
[]  Director of marketing and online services at the DCCC in the 2006 cycle (started there in Jan. 2005).  Previously at the DSCC.
National Finance Chair Penny Pritzker 
(announced by the exploratory committee Jan. 31, 2007)  Member of one of America's richest families, founders of Hyatt Hotels.  Founder, chairman and CEO of Classic Residence by Hyatt, a unit that does luxury retirement communities; and chairman of the Board of TransUnion Corporation, a credit data and information management business.  Chairman of Superior Bank, 1989-94.  Bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University, 1981; J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University, 1984.

Media David Axelrod
AKP Message & Media (see above)
Media Jim Margolis and Jason Ralston
(announced April 28, 2007; development and placement of media and serving as senior strategists) Senior partner and partner, repectively at GMMB.
Pollster Paul Harstad
CEO of Harstad Strategic Research, based in Boulder, CO.  33 years of experience in government, public affairs, polling, and campaign strategy.   During the 1990s he directed public affairs polling for Talmey-Drake Research & Strategy in Boulder.  During the 1980s he was senior vice president at Peter Hart Research and Garin-Hart Research in Washington, DC.  During the 1970s he worked as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.
Pollster Cornell Belcher
President, Brilliant-Corners, Research & Strategies.  Belcher is also DNC pollster.
Pollster Joel Benenson
(reported Feb. 20, 2007 by Greg Sargent at TPM Cafe)  Founding Partner of the Benenson Strategy Group (BSG).

>According to Sargent at TPM Cafe, Benenson will be in charge of polling for New Hampshire, Belcher for South Carolina, and Harstead for Iowa.
Direct Mail Pete Giangreco
Partner in The Strategy Group's Chicago office.

And SS+K, a strategic communications firm located in New York, is helping the campaign with nontraditional ideas and new ways to reach the younger voting population.  The effort is being headed up by Rob Shepardson, founding partner of the firm.

Ertharin Cousin - (reported Feb. 20, 2007 by Greg Sargent at TPM Cafe)  Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President at America’s Second Harvest.  Previously worked with Albertson's, Inc., the food and drug retailer, as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs; joned Albertson's in 1997.  White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of State, 1993-97.  Worked at the DNC.  Worked in Illinois including as Director of Government Relations for AT&T and Illinois assistant Attorney General, as well as on state and local campaigns.  B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago; J.D. from the University of Georgia, 1982.

Federico Peña - (announced Sept. 7, 2007)  A managing director of Vestar Capital Partners, a private equity fund headquartered in New York; joined the firm as a senior advisor in 1998.  Secretary of Energy, 1997-98.  Secretary of Transportation, 1993-97.  President and CEO of Peña Investment Advisors, 1991-92.  Elected Mayor of Denver in 1983, defeating a 14-year incumbent, and re-elected in 1987.  Elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1979, and rose to become Minority Leader.  B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, 1969; J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, 1972.


State Director Paul Tewes
(reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Jan. 16, 2007)  Campaign manager of Americans United to Protect Social Security in 2005.  Formed Hildebrand Tewes Consulting, Inc. with Steve Hildebrand in early 2005.  Political director of the DSCC in the 2004 cycle.  Field director on Vice President Al Gore's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign starting in June 1999.  Executive director of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, 1998.  Managed Sandy Pappas’ mayoral campaign in St. Paul in 1997.  Managed U.S. Rep. David Minge's re-election campaign in 1996.  Western MN field coordinator for Ann Wynia's U.S. Senate campaign in 1994.  Graduate of Carleton College with a degree in Political Science, 1993.  Native of Mt. Lake, MN.

See Iowa page >>

State Director David Cohen 
(reported by AP on Feb. 15, 2007)  Campaign manager for Jill Derby's 2006 race against Dean Heller (R) in Nevada's 2nd CD.  Earlier in the 2006 cycle, Cohen served as director of operations on Deval Patrick's gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts.  In the 2004 cycle, he worked in New Hampshire and Tennessee on Gen. Wes Clark's presidential campaign, and later on Sen. Tom Daschle's re-election campaign in South Dakota.  Cohen is a former educator, having taught at the high school and college levels.  He is also an entrepreneur, having founded two companies and a non-profit organization – the Brown University Entrepreneurship Program – where he still serves as an ex-officio board member.
Political Director Alison Schwartz
(reported by AP on Feb. 15, 2007)  Executive director of the Nevada Democratic Party starting in early 2005; field director in the 2004 cycle.

See Nevada page >>

New Hampshire
State Director Matt Rodriguez
(reported by John DiStaso in "The Granite Status" on Jan. 18, 2007)  In 2006 Rodriguez ran Kevin de León's successful campaign for Assembly in California's 45th District (Los Angeles).  District director for Rep. Marty Meehan in Lowell, Mass.  Campaign manager for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)'s 2004 re-election campaign.  Deputy political director on Dick Gephardt's campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination and previously at Gephardt's leadership PAC, the Effective Government Committee.  A year as a volunteer teacher in Roxbury, Mass.  Ran the 2nd CD for Sen. Bill Bradley's 2000 NH primary campaign.  Volunteer teacher with the Jesuit Corps in Roxbury, Mass. for three years.  Graduate of Holy Cross University with a degree in Spanish.

See New Hampshire page >>

South Carolina
State Director Stacey Brayboy
Twelve years of experience in various levels of government.  Deputy director of the Virginia Council on Human Rights, appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine in Feb. 2006.  State core director for Tim Kaine’s successful gubernatorial campaign and for the Virginia Coordinated Campaign in 2005.  Midlands regional director on Wesley Clark's South Carolina primary campaign.  From Atlanta.

See South Carolina page >>

More States (alpha):
State Director Mitchell Schwartz
(announced August 16, 2007)  President and founder (1999) of the Bomaye Company, a public affairs firm in Los Angeles.  Has served on the campaigns of Senator Boxer, Governor Davis and Mayor Villaraigosa.  Served in the Office of Public Affairs for the Department of State under President Clinton, 1993-95.  Gov. Bill Clinton's New Hampshire State Director in 1992.  Worked on the Dukakis campaign in 1988 and the Mondale campaign in 1984.

See California page >>

District of Columbia
Chairman Mayor Adrian Fenty
(announced July 17, 2007)  Elected Mayor in 2006 and is the youngest Mayor in the City's history.  Elected to the City Council in 2000 and re-elected in 2004.  Fenty previously served as the lead attorney and Counsel for the Council’s Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation.  J.D. from Howard University Law School.  B.A. from Oberlin College.  Born in the District and raised in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

Florida Advisory Council (announced July 20, 2007)
See Florida page >>

State Director Jon Carson
(reported by Lynn Sweet.  "Obama's Illinois operation. Campaign to launch "'Camp Obama'"  Chicago Sun-Times.  May 3, 2007)  Managed Tammy Duckworth's 2006 general election campaign in Illinois' 6th CD.  Served in the Peace Corps.  Worked for South Carolina Democrats in the 2002 cycle, helping to target African-American voters.  Director of the Wisconsin Senate Democratic Caucus from Feb. to Aug. 2001.  A regional field organizer on Al Gore's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Worked on Russ Feingold's 1998 U.S. Senate campaign.  Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in civil engineering.  From La Crosse, WI.

See Illinois page >>

Chairman Congressman Adam Smith
(announced August 30, 2007; endorsed Sen. Obama in Feb. 2007)  Represents Washington's 9th CD; first elected to Congress in 1996.  Elected to the State Senate in 1990. (At only 25 years of age, he became the youngest state senator in the country when he took office in 1991).  Law degree from the University of Washington Law School, 1990.  Graduated from Fordham University in 1987.  Lifelong resident of the 9th CD; lives in Northeast Tacoma.

Chief of Staff Pete Rouse
Previously served as chief of staff to Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle through to the conclusion of his tenure.  Chief of staff to then Rep. Dick Durbin (D-IL) in the House.
Legislative Director Chris Lu
Previously worked for Rep. Henry Waxman as Deputy Chief Counsel on the House Government Reform staff.  Graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School (an Obama classmate).

New Media Deputy Director Josh Orton
(The's Marc Ambinder reported Orton resigned in late Sept. 2007 because he "disagreed with the campaign’s blogger outreach strategy.")  Most recently served as online and Nevada press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Executive producer of Air America Radio's "The Majority Report" with Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo.  Communications director for Gwen Moore's (WI-04) campaign in 2004.  Graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Southern Regional Political Director/ briefly Georgia State Director Erica Brooks
(The's Marc Ambinder reported that Brooks had left the campaign)  Brooks previously served as the campaign's Southern regional political director in Chicago.Director of the Office of National Development at the Democratic National Committee starting in Spring 2001.  Deputy state director to U.S. Sen. Zell Miller; deputy campaign manager on Zell Miller's 2000 U.S. Senate campaign.  Senior scheduler to U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, 1996-98.  In 1994, Brooks became a special assistant to then-Secretary of State Max Cleland.

Copyright © 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action