Podcast host and producer, FiveThirtyEight
Jody Avirgan is a podcast host and producer at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s data news site owned by ESPN. Prior to that, he was a producer at WNYC Radio, where he worked on a wide range of shows and interactive projects, including: “The Brian Lehrer Show,” “Data News,” “On The Media,” “Radiolab” and “Freakonomics.” He also worked on the launch of the national politics site “It’s A Free Country” and four presidential nominating conventions. Avirgan additionally helped raise funds for the public radio station. He hosts the comedy/storytelling show “Ask Roulette.”
Director, Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago
A University of Chicago alumnus, David Axelrod is a 40-year veteran of American politics and journalism. Prior to becoming a political consultant, Axelrod spent eight years as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, including a stint as the City Hall bureau chief. As a political consultant, Axelrod has managed media and communications strategy for more than 150 local, state and national campaigns. Axelrod most recently served as senior strategist to President Obama’s successful re-election campaign. He served in that same role in then-Senator Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, before going on to serve in the White House as senior advisor to the president. After the 2012 campaign, Axelrod turned his focus to the Institute of Politics to help inspire and train the next generation of leaders.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Senior political reporter, NBC News
Perry Bacon Jr. is a senior political reporter for NBC News. He joined the network as in 2011 as a political editor for theGrio.com, as well as an on-air political analyst for MSNBC. While at theGrio, Bacon led the site’s coverage of the 2012 election and President Obama’s second term, with a special focus on the Affordable Care Act and its impact. Prior to NBC, he covered the 2004 presidential campaign and Congress for Time magazine, then moved on to a similar role at The Washington Post, where he served as a national political correspondent and White House reporter.
VP of content strategy and audience engagement, Vocativ
Susie Banikarim is vice president of content strategy and audience engagement at Vocativ, a start-up that aims to break news using data and the “deep Web.” She is responsible for supervising Vocativ’s audience growth, social media, editorial marketing, search and content partnerships. As a network television and video producer, she previously worked at ABC News as a member of the senior editorial team for “World News” and “This Week” and as a producer for Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. She also served as deputy director of editorial operations and executive producer of video at Newsweek & The Daily Beast, where she launched Daily Beast TV and helped oversee the Women in the World Summit. Banikarim was editorial producer for the talk show “Katie.” She has received an Edward R. Murrow Award and six Emmy nominations for her work and was a 2014 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Senior polling editor, Huffington Post; founding editor, Pollster.com
Mark Blumenthal is the senior polling editor of The Huffington Post and the founding editor of Pollster.com (now known as HuffPost Pollster). From 2006 to 2010, Pollster.com attracted over 28 million visits and over 90 million page views. The site was acquired by The Huffington Post in 2010. Along with co-creator Charles Franklin, Blumenthal received the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award for Pollster.com from the American Association for Public Opinion Research in 2007. He also won a special citation in 2005 from the National Council on Public Polls for coverage of polling by his Mystery Pollster blog, a forerunner of Pollster.com. Blumenthal worked as a Democratic campaign pollster for more than 20 years, including 15 at the firm formerly known as Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal.
Host, “The Afternoon Shift,” WBEZ
Niala Boodhoo hosts “The Afternoon Shift,” a two-hour weekday news program on WBEZ, Chicago’s public media station. She previously was the station’s business reporter. Boodhoo began her career in public media while still at reporter at The Miami Herald, where she started “The Miami Herald Friday Business Report” on WLRN. At the Herald, she covered the economy before moving into multimedia business coverage. Boodhoo has been a journalist since 2000, working for Reuters in London and Washington; The Associated Press in Miami and The South-Florida Sun-Sentinel.
National political reporter, Bloomberg
Julie Bykowicz has been a national political reporter for Bloomberg since 2011. She writes about the business of campaigns, big money groups and the influence industry. She previously spent a decade at The Baltimore Sun, covering local crime and state politics.
National political reporter, The Washington Post
Robert Costa is a national political reporter for The Washington Post and a frequent commentator on television and radio. He previously was National Review’s Washington editor, a CNBC political analyst and a fellow at The Wall Street Journal. Costa is on the board of trustees at Notre Dame, his alma mater.
Founding partner, Precision Strategies
Stephanie Cutter is partner at Precision Strategies, a board member at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and former co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire.” She has crafted communications and crises strategies for the nation’s leading political figures and campaigns. Most recently, she was deputy campaign manager for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and before that, his deputy senior adviser. In 2009, she served as counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Cutter also served as the chief spokesperson for the Obama-Biden Transition, and served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff on the 2008 Obama for America campaign. Cutter was a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, taught at Johns Hopkins University, and has lectured at other universities. She also served as a senior strategist for Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Edward Kennedy, and Sen. John Kerry. She held several positions in the Clinton Administration, including White House deputy communications director. She regularly appears on network news and cable channels.
Political director, CBS News; chief political correspondent, Slate
John Dickerson is political director of CBS News and Slate magazine’s chief political correspondent. He recently was named as the new host of the CBS Sunday morning program “Face the Nation” and will take over for Bob Schieffer this summer. Dickerson joined CBS News in 2009 as an analyst and contributor, providing on-air political analysis and contributing to CBS News broadcasts across the network. Dickerson has been a reporter in Washington for almost 20 years covering the White House, Congress and economics. Before joining Slate, Dickerson covered politics for 12 years for Time magazine and in his last four years, was the magazine’s White House correspondent covering the presidency of George W. Bush. Dickerson is the author of “On Her Trail,” about his mother, the late Nancy Dickerson, a pioneering newswoman who, in 1960, became CBS News’ first female correspondent. He is a regular guest on “Washington Week,” “The Diane Rehm Show” and the “Charlie Rose Show” and has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Managing partner, TargetPoint
Alicia Downs works with political and corporate campaigns on analytics-driven strategic efforts to effectively deploy resources. She has worked on hundreds of statewide and congressional races and three presidential campaigns. Downs is a principal at TargetPoint, a market research and knowledge management firm that specializes in microtargeting. In addition, she advises firms that specialize in media targeting, data management and survey research. Prior to TargetPoint, Downs served as Mitt Romney’s 2008 deputy campaign manager. From 2003 to 2007, she served in numerous roles at the Republican National Committee including regional political director, director of the Presidential Coordinated Fund and director of external relations for the 2004 National Convention. Prior to joining the committee, Downs served as associate political director in the White House. Downs joined the White House after serving on the 2000 Bush for President Campaign. Prior to the 2000 campaign, Downs worked for Governors Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci of Massachusetts.
Communications director, Democratic National Committee
A 19-year veteran of Democratic politics, Mo Elleithee was named communications director of the DNC in August 2013. He has worked on four different presidential campaigns, including as senior spokesman and traveling press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 bid for the White House; in senior communications roles for candidates across the country including Tim Kaine (VA), Mark Warner (VA) and Tom Udall (NM); and has advised various Democratic party committees including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Party of Virginia. For the past four years, he has been on the faculty of the Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, teaching a class in campaign management and strategy. He is a founding partner (and currently on leave of absence) from two of Washington’s top political consulting firms — Hilltop Public Solutions and Three Point Media.
Journalist and media consultant
Stefanie Friedhoff is a German-American journalist, freelance correspondent and a co-author of this conference. She covers the intersection of technology, science and society for various publications; organizes journalism conferences for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University; and works with the Boston Marathon Bombing Resiliency Center and the National Alliance on Mental Health on media literacy for survivors, advocates and law enforcement professionals. Over the past two decades, her work has been featured in publications on both sides of the Atlantic including The Boston Globe, Time magazine, Nieman Reports, taz, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Folio/Neue Zuercher Zeitung. From 2006 to 2014, Friedhoff ran a variety of programs at the Nieman Foundation, including Nieman’s Trauma Journalism Program, a specialized fellowship in Global Health Reporting and topical conferences on subjects such as immigration and the environment. She was a 2001 Nieman Fellow.
Sales manager, politics and advocacy, Twitter
Jenna Golden manages the political and advocacy sales team in Twitter’s Washington, D.C., office and is responsible for building partnerships with political campaigns, national trade associations, issue advocacy groups and government entities. She regularly speaks at conferences and events about the intersection between Twitter and politics and how the platform can be used for grassroots communication and advocacy. Prior to joining Twitter, Golden spent three years as the associate publisher of The New Republic, where she was responsible for all advertising revenues across print, online and the live events space. She previously managed partnerships with top national trade associations and coalitions at National Journal.
Senior political correspondent, National Journal
Shane Goldmacher is a senior political correspondent for National Journal, where he covers the 2016 presidential campaign. He produces investigative stories that focus on the intersection of money and politics, as well as narrative pieces about the politicians and players in Washington and around the nation. He previously covered Congress and congressional campaigns. Prior to joining National Journal in 2011, Goldmacher worked in the Sacramento bureau of the Los Angeles Times, where he was the paper’s lead budget reporter during California’s fiscal crisis. He also covered campaigns, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gov. Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature. He previously was a reporter for the Sacramento Bee, where he launched the political website Capitol Alert. Before that, he wrote for Capitol Weekly, a Sacramento-based newspaper that covers state government.
Correspondent, CBS News
Julianna Goldman is a CBS News correspondent based in Washington, D.C. Before joining CBS News in August 2014, Goldman was a White House correspondent for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Television, as well as a weekly panelist on “Political Capital with Al Hunt.” She has covered stories of national and international significance, and her assignments have taken her around the globe. Along with Charlie Rose, Goldman moderated Bloomberg’s first New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate in 2011. She covered President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, summit meetings around the world, Obama’s first trip to China, and his first visit to Israel as president. In addition, Goldman conducted the first one-on-one interview with President Obama after his re-election in 2012, one of three interviews she has done with the president. She was reporting from the White House on the night Osama bin Laden was killed and traveled on Air Force One to Afghanistan one year after that strike.
Editor, New Hampshire Primary Digest
Chip Griffin is editor of Primary Digest, a newsletter focused on the New Hampshire primary and presidential politics, and chairman of CustomScoop, a media monitoring and measurement service he co-founded in 2000. He also provides executive writing and corporate content creation services through Harbor Light Writers Group. Griffin’s companies help organizations create, promote and analyze effective content in traditional and digital media. A longtime innovator, he was recruited from his job on Capitol Hill to serve as CEO of an online media company when he was just 23 years old. A graduate of American University, he serves as immediate past president of the AU Alumni Association and a member of the School of Public Affairs Advisory Council.
Co-managing editor, Bloomberg Politics
Mark Halperin is co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, which leads Bloomberg’s political and policy coverage, including news, analysis, commentary, narrative, data analytics and more across all platforms. He is also a regular contributor to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and a frequent guest on “Charlie Rose.” Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2014, Halperin served as editor-at-large and senior political analyst for Time, covering politics, elections and government for the magazine and time.com. He was also the creator and author of time.com’s “The Page,” a news and analysis tip sheet reporting on current political stories, campaign ads, TV clips, videos and campaign reactions, along with Halperin’s own analysis. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestsellers “Double Down: Game Change 2012” and “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime”; author of “The Undecided Voter’s Guide to the Next President”; and co-author of “The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008.”
National political reporter, CNN; head of news, Snapchat
Peter Hamby is a national political reporter for CNN, based in Washington, D.C. He recently joined Snapchat as head of news, but will remain a CNN contributor through 2016. Hamby focuses his attention beyond the Beltway to tackle the politics, policies and campaigns that affect the nation at state and local levels. “Hambycast,” his irreverent CNN Digital series, takes viewers into the world of campaigns to meet the players and places that drive American politics. With the 2016 campaign, Hamby is covering his sixth election cycle for CNN. He was one of the CNN’s lead reporters during their Emmy Award-winning election coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign, traveling to many of the battleground states with a focus on the Republican primary contest and Mitt Romney’s campaign. He joined CNN in 2005 as part of the team that launched “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” Hamby was a Spring 2013 fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where he authored “Did Twitter Kill The Boys On The Bus?” a study on the impact of Twitter on media behavior and campaign press strategy.
John Mark Hansen
Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and the College, University of Chicago
John Mark Hansen, one of the nation’s leading scholars of American politics, is the Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago. His research has focused on interest groups, citizen activism and public opinion. He is the author of two books, “Mobilization, Participation and Democracy in America” with Steven Rosenstone, and “Gaining Access: Congress and the Farm Lobby, 1919-1981.” In 1999, he received the Heinz Eulau Award from the American Political Science Association for the “Best Article Published in the American Political Science Review” in 1998. In 2003, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hansen’s current research focuses on public opinion, public budgeting and politicians’ inferences from the outcomes of elections. At the University of Chicago, Hansen was dean of the social sciences division from 2002 to 2012 and is now senior advisor to President Robert J. Zimmer. He also has served as chairman of the political science department and as associate provost for education and research.
Peter D. Hart
Founder, Hart Research
Peter D. Hart founded Hart Research in 1971. In the 43 plus years since, the firm has represented over 60 United States senators and 40 governors. The firm’s premier client has been the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which Hart has co-directed over the course of the last 25 years. He also has worked on election night coverage for either CBS or NBC for 50 years. Beyond political research, Hart has been a leader in strategic research for corporations and nonprofit organizations: His current clients include Coca-Cola, AT&T, General Motors, and Citi. His nonprofit work has included the Kennedy Center, Handgun Control, the Human Rights Campaign and The Smithsonian. For the last 16 years, he has also taught courses on public opinion at Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, Berkeley and Harvard Kennedy School.
Chief Washington correspondent, CNBC; political writer, The New York Times
John Harwood is chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and a political writer for The New York Times. His first trip on a presidential campaign press plane came when he was 11 years old and accompanied his father, then a political reporter for The Washington Post. Harwood began his journalism career while still in high school as a copy boy at The Washington Star. After graduating from Duke University, he joined The St. Petersburg Times, reporting on police, investigative projects, local government and politics before becoming state capital correspondent in Tallahassee, Washington correspondent and political editor. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during the 1989-90 academic year. In 1991, he joined The Wall Street Journal as White House correspondent and later reported on Congress. In 1997, he became the Journal’s political editor and chief political correspondent. At the Journal, Harwood wrote the political column, “Washington Wire,” and oversaw the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. In addition to his work for CNBC, Harwood offers political analysis on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and “Washington Week in Review” on PBS. He has covered each of the last five presidential elections.
Editor, Fusion’s Digital Voices
Anna Holmes has written and edited for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, InStyle and The New Yorker online. She is the founder of the website Jezebel.com and the 2012 recipient of a Mirror Award for Best Commentary. In 2013 her Twitter account was named one of the top 140 Twitter feeds by Time magazine. She is the editor of two books, including the “Book of Jezebel” and works as a columnist for the New York Times Book Review and as an editor of Digital Voices at Fusion.
Contributor, Bloomberg Politics; Washington correspondent, Monocle
Sasha Issenberg is a contributor to Bloomberg Politics and the Washington correspondent for Monocle, where he covers politics, business, diplomacy and culture. He covered the 2012 election as a columnist for Slate and the 2008 election as a national political reporter in the Washington bureau of The Boston Globe. He is the author of two books, “The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy” and “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns.” His work has appeared in New York, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Washington Monthly, Inc., The Atlantic, Boston, Philadelphia, and George, where he served as a contributing editor.
Athena Jones started with CNN as a general assignment reporter in 2011. She is based in CNN’s Washington bureau, where she reports on politics and a wide range of general news stories for programs across the network. She has covered debates over immigration reform, the Affordable Care Act, the war against ISIS and debt and budget issues, among other topics. Previously, Jones was a White House producer with NBC, where she produced story segments and reported on air for MSNBC and NBC News. Jones covered the presidential campaigns of then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle for NBC and the National Journal. Prior to her work at NBC, Jones served as a freelance segment producer for CNN. In addition, she worked as a reporter for Reuters based in Buenos Aires and reported on politics and the economy in both Chile and Argentina for Bloomberg News.
Data reporter, Advertising Age
Kate Kaye has been a reporter covering digital media, political campaigns, data and privacy issues for more than 16 years. She helped cultivate the digital political campaign beat, and in 2009 wrote “Campaign ’08: A Turning Point for Digital Media,” a book about the digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Before joining Advertising Age, Kaye was managing editor of ClickZ News, where she worked for nearly seven years. She has appeared as an expert on digital media, data, political and privacy subjects on NPR’s “On the Media,” “Morning Edition,” “The Brian Lehrer Show,” and “Stossel with John Stossel” for Fox Business.
Assistant professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Daniel Kreiss is assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kreiss’s research explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice. In “Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama,” Kreiss presents the history of new media and Democratic Party political campaigning over the last decade. Kreiss is currently working on a second book project, provisionally titled “Networked Ward Politics: Parties, Databases, and Campaigning in the Information Age,” due out in 2016. Kreiss is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow. His work has appeared in a number of academic journals.
Political reporter, Mother Jones
Andy Kroll spent the past six years working in the San Francisco and Washington, D.C., offices of Mother Jones. He was for years the magazine’s “dark money” reporter and he covered the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections. He was named outstanding emerging journalist by the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter in 2012, and his money-in-politics reporting was cited as part of the magazine’s 2014 Izzy Award for Independent Media. During his time at Mother Jones, the magazine nabbed three National Magazine Award nominations for general excellence, winning in 2010. He also contributed to the magazine’s 2009 “Climate Countdown” package, which won the James Aronson award for social justice journalism. Over the years he’s written for The Guardian, American Prospect, and Men’s Journal. He will soon join National Journal as a magazine staff correspondent covering politics, campaigns and the 2016 presidential election.
Federal politics reporter, The Center for Public Integrity
Carrie Levine joined The Center for Public Integrity in October 2014 as a federal politics reporter investigating the influence of money in politics. For four years before joining the Center, she worked as research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, where she managed a five-person staff that exposed the activities of politically active “dark money” nonprofits and uncovered instances of congressional self-dealing. Carrie previously worked as a reporter and associate editor for The National Law Journal, where she covered the inner workings of lobbying firms and lobbyists’ strategies. Carrie also previously reported for The Charlotte Observer, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass., and The Sun (Lowell, Mass.).
Washington correspondent, The Guardian
Paul Lewis is Washington D.C. correspondent for The Guardian. He previously was the newspaper’s special projects editor in London, where he led “Reading the Riots,” a landmark research study with the London School of Economics. Lewis has lectured across the world on the use of social media in journalism and teaches a masterclass in applying digital techniques to investigative reporting. His TED talk about crowdsourcing journalism has been viewed over 100,000 times. Lewis joined The Guardian as a trainee is 2005 after studying at Cambridge University and Harvard University. He has won 11 major journalism prizes, including, most recently, the Reporter of the Year Prize at the British Press Awards and the European Press Prize for investigative journalism.
Ann Marie Lipinski
Curator, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
Ann Marie Lipinski is curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, a position she assumed in 2011. Before coming to Harvard, Lipinski served as senior lecturer and vice president for civic engagement at the University of Chicago. Prior to that, she was the editor of the Chicago Tribune, a post she held for nearly eight years following assignments as managing editor, metropolitan editor and investigations editor. As a reporter at the Tribune, Lipinski was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism for stories she did with two other reporters on corruption in the Chicago City Council. While editor of the paper, she oversaw work that won the Tribune Pulitzers in several categories including international reporting, feature writing, editorial writing, investigative reporting and explanatory journalism. Lipinski was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 2003-2012 and served as co-chair during her last year.
Republican communications strategist
Kevin Madden is a communications strategist who has served as a senior counselor to some of the nation’s top leaders in both the public and private sectors over the last 15 years. Madden has designed and managed high-profile communications campaigns, ranging from presidential cabinet-level departments to public advocacy and issue campaigns for business coalitions, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies. Madden most recently served as a senior advisor to and spokesman for Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2012 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Prior to joining Gov. Romney’s campaign, he served as press secretary to then-House Majority Leader, now-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Before his work as a top leadership aide on Capitol Hill, Madden served as the Department of Justice’s national spokesman. During the 2004 presidential campaign, he was a member of the communications team directing President George W. Bush’s re-election effort.
National political correspondent, The New York Times
Jonathan Martin is a national political correspondent for The New York Times. Before joining The Times, he served as senior political writer for Politico. He first began covering politics for National Journal’s political publication, The Hotline, and then reported on party politics and the aftermath of the 2006 midterm elections for National Review magazine. Martin is a co-author of The New York Times bestseller “The End of the Line: Romney vs. Obama: The 34 Days That Decided the Election,” the fourth and final e-book in Politico’s 2012 series on the race for the presidency. His work has been published in The New Republic, National Journal, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared frequently on television and radio as a political analyst and commentator, including on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, MSNBC and NPR.
Commuting and mobility reporter, KPCC
Meghan McCarty is the commuting and mobility reporter for KPCC Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles. She has worked as a producer, reporter and editor for KPCC’s morning news magazine, “Take Two,” focusing on cultural stories and water issues. Before that, she was an associate producer for the “Madeleine Brand Show” at KPCC. She has reported abroad from South Africa, Germany, Israel and the West Bank.
Eliza Newlin Carney
Senior writer, CQ Roll Call
Eliza Newlin Carney is a senior writer covering politics, campaign financing and lobbying for CQ Roll Call. She writes investigative stories, magazine features, news items and analyses for CQ Magazine, CQ News and Roll Call. Newlin Carney previously was a contributing editor at National Journal, writing about campaign financing and Washington’s influence industry and was an election law columnist for NationalJournal.com and National Journal Daily. She also contributed features and investigative stories to National Journal and Government Executive magazines, among others. Before that, Carney was a National Journal staff correspondent covering Congress, political money and lobbying. She also wrote about abortion, health care and welfare. She previously covered Capitol Hill for States News Service and worked as a daily newspaper reporter in the Philadelphia area. Carney has offered commentary on C-SPAN, CNN, NPR and the “PBS NewsHour.” and has taught journalism at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.
Power, money and influence correspondent, NPR
Peter Overby covers campaign finance and lobbying for NPR. In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the “Secret Money Project,” an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections. In 2009, Overby joined NPR congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook to produce “Dollar Politics,” a multimedia examination of the ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, as Congress considered the health-care overhaul bill, which won the annual award for excellence in Washington-based reporting given by the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. Before joining NPR in 1994, Overby was senior editor at Common Cause Magazine, where he shared a 1992 IRE Award for magazine writing. His work has appeared in the Congressional Quarterly Guide to Congress, the Los Angeles Times. the Utne Reader and Reader’s Digest. Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance.
Staff writer, The New Yorker
Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008 and covers politics and foreign affairs. For four years, he wrote the “Letter from China” blog for newyorker.com and parts of his book, “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China,” based on his eight years of living in Beijing, first appeared in the magazine. He has also written from East Asia. His article “The Fallout,” about Japan’s nuclear predicament following the Fukushima Daiichi accident, won a 2012 Overseas Press Club Award. Previously, he worked as Beijing bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune, where he was part of a team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Before his assignment to China, he worked in the Middle East, reporting mostly from Iraq. He has also contributed to “This American Life” and been a correspondent for “Frontline/World.” He is the recipient of the Osborn Elliott Prize and a Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Katie Packer Gage
Founding partner, WWP Strategies
Katie Packer Gage is a founding partner of WWP Strategies, a political consulting and issue management firm. She has worked on political campaigns since 1990. In 1996, she served as Michigan state director for the Dole for President Campaign. Following that, she was executive director of the Michigan Senate Republican Campaign Committee. She also served in the administration of Michigan Gov. John Engler as chief of staff to Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus. She was deputy campaign manager and also a senior aide to U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of Energy Spence Abraham (R-MI). In 2008, she was a consultant to the Romney for President Campaign and directed the strategy for the successful Michigan primary campaign. In 2011-2012, Packer Gage served as deputy campaign manager of the Romney for President Campaign. In 2013, she and her partners founded Burning Glass Consulting, a collaborative team of GOP operatives made up entirely of women, focusing on changing the way the Republican Party communicates to women. She is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School for Political Management.
Political director and weekend anchor, WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa
Dave Price is the political director and weekend anchor at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. Price’s career has taken him from radio in St. Louis to television work in Columbia, Missouri; Montgomery, Alabama; and in Des Moines. His work has earned him a national Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow Award, along with dozens of state and regional awards. He also recently released his first book, “Caucus Chaos,” his insider’s account of the unique Iowa caucuses.
Chairman, Republican National Committee
Reince Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was re-elected to a third term in January 2015, positioning him to become the longest serving chairman in modern history. In his first term, Priebus oversaw a turnaround of the RNC, rescuing its finances and rebuilding operations. During his second term, Priebus led the RNC in building the infrastructure needed for a GOP victory in the midterm elections. During Priebus’s tenure as chairman of the Republican Party in Wisconsin, Republicans elected Ron Johnson to the Senate, and gained two additional U.S. House seats, won the governor’s office and took back both the State Assembly and the State Senate. Priebus worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party of Wisconsin as 1st Congressional District chairman, state party treasurer, first vice chair and eventually state party chairman. In 2009, Priebus served as general counsel to the RNC.
Desk editor, The Associated Press
Michele Salcedo is desk editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of The Associated Press, where she has been on staff since 2008. She edits national political and government news for text and radio wire services and also tweets for @AP_Politics, the AP’s national political Twitter feed, and contributes to the AP Politics Facebook page. From 2011 to 2012, she was assigned to the Political Desk, working with political reporters covering the 2012 presidential campaign and high-profile congressional contests. Salcedo is an award-winning former newspaper reporter and editor who has held a range of reporting and assignments for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Newsday and the San Antonio Light. Salcedo is a past president of the 1,200 member National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Team lead, U.S. politics, Google
Rob Saliterman leads Google’s advertising strategy efforts with Republican political campaigns and independent expenditure groups, working to drive adoption of online advertising and social media for fundraising, persuasion and mobilization. Saliterman joined Google in 2011, having previously served as communications director to former President George W. Bush in Dallas, Texas. From 2008 to 2009, he was spokesman for international affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Before that, he was director of rapid response in the White House Office of Communications. He has also worked at the Republican National Committee and on the Bush-Cheney ’04 Presidential Campaign.
Vice chairman of public affairs, Edelman
As vice chairman of public affairs at Edelman, Steve Schmidt is a strategic counselor to chief executive officers and senior decision makers at global corporations, professional sports franchises, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. Previously, he served as a top strategist to President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election and as deputy assistant to the president and counselor to the vice president. During his tenure with the George W. Bush administration, he played a leading role in the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. In 2006, Schmidt left the White House to lead the successful re-election of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and subsequently served as a senior advisor to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. A graduate of the University of Delaware, he is now a senior fellow at the school’s Center for Political Communication. During the fall of 2014, Schmidt was a Resident Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
Attorney, former U.S. Ambassador, N.H. Clinton campaign co-chair
Terry Shumaker has been involved in presidential primaries since 1968. He co-chaired President Clinton’s New Hampshire campaigns and served on the Democratic National Committee in the 1990s. He also was a member of the 2005 DNC Primary Calendar Commission, where the idea of a national primary was briefly discussed. Shumaker is a member of the law firm Bernstein Shur’s Alternative Dispute Resolution and Labor and Employment Practice Groups. He serves as a panel arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association, the U.S. District Court, the New Hampshire Superior Court, the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board, and the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights. Prior to joining Bernstein Shur, he was executive director and general counsel of the National Education Association of New Hampshire. He served as United States Ambassador to Trinidad from 1997-2001. Before his foreign service, he was a partner and president of a large New Hampshire law firm. In 2012, he was appointed by the governor to the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission, which decides election disputes.
Sean M. Spicer
Communications director, Republican National Committee
Sean M. Spicer has served as RNC communications director since 2011. In February 2015, he took on the added role of chief strategist and is leading the negotiations and implementation of the new presidential primary debate structure. During the 2012 election cycle, Spicer oversaw significant growth in the RNC’s social media efforts, an upgrade of the party’s television studio and the creation of an in-house video and production team. He previously served as assistant United States trade representative for media and public affairs in the George W. Bush administration. He also served as communications director for the House Republican Conference and before that, as communications director for the House Budget Committee. During the 2000 election cycle, Spicer was the National Republican Congressional Committee’s director of incumbent retention. He is a frequent guest on CNN, Fox and MSNBC.
Co-founder and managing partner, NGPA, Inc.
Matthew Strawn has decades of experience as a statewide public official, entrepreneur, public affairs professional and public servant. He is currently the managing partner of NGPA, Inc., a Midwest-based public affairs firm with offices in Chicago, Des Moines and Washington, D.C. During a successful career on Capitol Hill, Strawn served as chief of staff and counsel to Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and as a member of the House Energy and Commerce and Intelligence Committees. He was elected to two terms as chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party (2009-2012). His approach to leading the Iowa GOP yielded an increase in party voter registration, record-breaking fundraising and historic election victories. Strawn’s communication skills and public relations efforts were instrumental in protecting Iowa’s “First in the Nation” status as he negotiated three nationally televised, prime-time presidential debates and was a fixture on national media programs. Strawn has served as an advisor to numerous elected officials, including current U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa).
NBC News political director; moderator, “Meet the Press”
Chuck Todd is NBC News political director and the moderator and managing editor of “Meet the Press.” Prior to taking the helm of the program in September 2014, Todd served as NBC News chief White House correspondent as well as host of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” Todd has served as political director since March 2007, leading all aspects of the news division’s political coverage and analysis across every platform. He is also the editor of “First Read,” NBC’s guide to political news and trends in and around Washington, D.C. In 2009 with Sheldon Gawiser, Todd co-authored a book analyzing the 2008 presidential campaign, “How Barack Obama Won.” His second book, “The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House,” was released in 2014. Before joining NBC News in 2007, Todd spent six years as the editor-in-chief of National Journal’s “The Hotline,” Washington’s daily briefing on American politics.
Dawn Turner Trice
Columnist and specialist reporter, Chicago Tribune
Dawn Turner Trice is a columnist and specialist reporter for the Chicago Tribune who writes about people and issues that fly below the radar. She has written commentary for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” as well as for television in Chicago, and was a regular analyst on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” She moderated the Tribune’s online forum/blog “Exploring Race,” which she designed to encourage readers to discuss racial issues. Turner Trice also is the author of two novels, “Only Twice I’ve Wished for Heaven” and “An Eighth of August.” She also received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She is a 2015 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
CEO and founder, Civis Analytics
Dan Wagner is the chief executive officer and founder of Civis Analytics, a data science technology and advisory firm in Chicago, Ill. Wagner manages company strategy and product development. Before founding Civis, Wagner served as the chief analytics officer on the 2012 Obama campaign, overseeing a 54-person team of analysts, engineers and organizers that provided analytics and technologies for voter contact, digital, paid media, fundraising and communication. His department’s work has been featured in Time magazine, the MIT Technology Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times. He previously worked in newspapers across South America.
National editor, The Cook Political Report
Political journalist and analyst Amy Walter is the national editor of the The Cook Political Report and the former political director of ABC News. From 1997–2007, Walter also served as senior editor of The Cook Political Report. She is an exclusive panelist on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and a regular panelist on PBS’ “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill” and Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier.” She provides political analysis every Monday evening for the “PBS NewsHour.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chair, Democratic National Committee
In November 2004, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was elected as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida and in May 2011, was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee after being nominated by President Barack Obama. In Congress, Wasserman Schultz is an advocate for women, children and families, authoring numerous pieces of legislation to advance their health, safety and security. She serves on the Committee on Appropriations and is ranking member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee. She also serves on the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, where she advocates for funding for security, economic and humanitarian assistance, and works to reduce poverty around the world. As DNC Chair, Wasserman Schultz works to advance President Obama’s agenda, to elect Democratic candidates across the country and to promote Democratic values.