Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rising Stars 2009

Campaign & Elections’ Politics magazine has announced the 2009 Rising Stars. One of the most prestigious honors in politics, the award goes to people 35 or under who have already made a significant mark in political consulting or advocacy. The magazine chose 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans and seven nonpartisan leaders this year out of a pool of several hundred nominees.

“Capping off an historic election year, we received a record number of nominations for this year’s Rising Stars,” said James Klatell, managing editor of Politics. “With so many exceptional young people working in politics today, this was an exceedingly difficult process.”

The Rising Stars will be honored on June 12 during our 26th annual training seminar, The Art of Political Campaigning. Past Rising Stars have included David Axelrod, Paul Begala, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Rahm Emanuel, Ed Gillespie, Alexis Herman, Karen Hughes, Laura Ingraham, Celinda Lake, Jim Pinkerton, Ralph Reed and George Stephanopoulos.


Brent Blackaby, 34, is a co-founder of Blackrock Associates, an online marketing, fundraising, and strategic consulting firm in California. His clients include Sens. Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, and Chuck Schumer, and Gen. Wesley Clark.

John Del Cecato, 35, is a partner at AKPD in New York City. He wrote, directed and produced many of the television ads for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Daniel Gotoff, 34, is the director of Lake Research Partner's New York City office. Since joining LRP in 1996, he has worked for candidates at all levels of the electoral process.

Julie Greene, 29, is the head of the AFL-CIO’s member communications program. She is a veteran of the direct mail firm MSHC Partners.

Jessica Grounds, 28, is a vice president at Stones’ Phones, the president of Women Under Forty Political Action Committee (WUFPAC) and the associate director of Running Start, a non-profit that educates young women about serving in political office.

Nicole Harburger, 33, is a vice president at GMMB in Washington. She has been a press secretary on Capitol Hill and the communication director for the Democratic Governor’s Association.

Robert E. Jones, 32, is the political director of Annie’s List in Texas. He has helped nine Democratic women win seats in the Texas legislature.

Amy Leveton, 33, is senior vice president and managing director of Penn Schoen & Berland Associates in Washington. She led research for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Todd Rogers, 31, is the founding executive director of the Analyst Institute, which uses the tools of behavioral science to help progressive groups increase the impact of their voter contact.

Tanya Tarr, 29, is a political research analyst at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She has worked for Al Gore’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the AFL-CIO.


Tucker Bounds, 30, is partner at Quinn Thomas Public Affairs in Oregon. He was the deputy communications director for John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Shannon Burns, 33, is the CEO of Victory Solutions, which provides unique VOIP phone banking technology to Republican campaigns.

Jessica B. Colón, 34, is the founder of Colón & Company, a consulting firm in Houston. She serves as the chair of the Young Republican National Federation and appears frequently on Fox News.

Danny Diaz, 33, launched his own consulting firm, Diaz Communications LLC, this year. A senior member of John McCain's 2008 campaign, he was previously the communications director at the Republican National Committee.

Josh Ginsberg, 26, is a vice president at Mercury Public Affairs in California. He is a veteran of George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign and Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign.

Katie Harbath, 28, is the director of DCI Digital for the DCI Group. She has worked on Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign and for the Republican National Committee.

Alex Lundry, 31, is vice president and director of research at Target Point Consulting in Virginia. He helped pioneer new micro-targeting techniques for Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign.

Christopher N. Malagisi, 28, is the founder of the Young Conservatives Coalition. He has worked in young adult voter outreach for the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, Fred Thompson and John McCain. He is also director of political training at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Va.

Brian Nick, 33, is the director of strategic development and communications for Strategic Perception in Washington. He is a veteran of former Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s office and campaign.

Ryan Waite, 31, is the president of NextDoor Politics and executive vice president of Connell Donatelli, an online advertising and marketing firm in Virginia. He handled the online advertising for John McCain’s presidential campaign.


Adam Conner, 24, opened Facebook's Washington D.C. office, where he oversees the company's political and governmental outreach and directed the company’s 2008 election efforts including voter registration and get out the vote tools.

Rob Engstrom, 34, is a vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, responsible for the group’s day-to-day political and grassroots operations.

Steve Grove, 31, is the head of News and Politics at YouTube. A former journalist, he partnered with CNN to develop the CNN/YouTube debates during the 2008 Election.

Irina Pruidze, 32, is the deputy international secretary of the New Rights Party, which advocates for limited government and free enterprise for Georgia in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.

Jordi Segarra, 30, is a board director of the European Association of Political Consultants and multiple-time Pollie winner. He has consulted for parties and leaders throughout Europe and Latin America.

Tom Serres, 27, is the entrepreneur behind Piryx, a social commerce platform aimed at empowering the little guys of the political world with online tools.

Brian Williams, 28, is vice president in charge of product strategy and design at Aristotle, the political technology firm in Washington. He has worked on races across the country and consulted abroad with several national political parties.

source: Rising Stars 2009, Politics Magazine, May 2009

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