Speaker Profiles

Anita Dunn

Anita Dunn

Obama White House Communications Director, 2009

Beginning with her time as an unpaid intern answering phones at the White House and culminating at Obama for America headquarters on the night of November 4th, 2008, Anita Dunn rose to the very pinnacle of strategic communications. As the brain-trust behind the most disciplined, coherent,and creative presidential campaign ever, she implemented a strategy that broke the traditional rules of campaign-messaging, broke fund-raising records, and helped turn America in a new direction. She then served as White House Communications Director during the first year of President Barack Obama’s term, giving her unique insight to interpret and comment on the decisions being made at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A pioneer of the new media frontier and exclusively represented by Leading Authorities, Anita Dunn has witnessed—and helped create—American history. She delivers powerful, funny, and intriguing presentations that can inspire people, instruct leaders on how to craft more effective messages, and provide insights into what’s happening in Washington right now.

Strategic Communication for the 21st Century:
During the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, Dunn and Obama for America reinvented the wheel for communicating to the American people. With a host of new media, the internet, and social networking options, Dunn’s team had to adapt and react to the new realities in the world of information. By recognizing the realities of the news cycle and understanding which storylines actually motivated voters, Dunn and the Obama campaign were able to respond to obstacles, manage their message, and stay above the fray of bad news by communicating across a broader spectrum of media.

Setting the New Bar for Campaigns:
A partner at Squier Knapp Dunn, one of the leading strategic communications firms in Washington, DC, Dunn has advised a wide range of national political leaders. In 1999, she served as communications director and chief strategist on the presidential campaign of Senator Bill Bradley, for whom she once served as chief of staff and political director. In 2001-2002, she served as senior political advisor to Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle as well as consultant to the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 2004, she developed strategy and produced the media campaign for Senator Evan Bayh, who won re-election with the highest percentage of support in recent history. Dunn advised the entire Democratic leadership on political communications issues when she served as the communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for both the 1988 and 1990 election cycles. In the House of Representatives, Dunn has advised Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and served as chief strategist and media consultant to several senior Democratic members facing challenging re-electionbattles, including Congressmen John Dingell and Lloyd Doggett.

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