The White House Director of Communications
, also known as Assistant to the President for Communications
, is part of the senior staff of the President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....
, and is responsible for developing and promoting the agenda of the President and leading its media campaign
Media strategy, as used in the advertising or content delivery industries, is concerned with how messages will be delivered to consumers or niche markets...
. The director, along with his or her staff, works on speeches such as the inaugural address and the State of the Union Address
The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and his national priorities.The practice arises...
. The Communications Director is usually given an office in the West Wing
The West Wing is the building housing the official offices of the President of the United States. It is the part of the White House Complex in which the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Room are located...
of the White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...
The current Director of Communications is Dan Pfeiffer , who replaced Anita Dunn
in November 2009.
The White House Office of Communications was established by Herbert G. Klein
Herbert G. Klein was best known as United States President Richard Nixon's Executive Branch Communications Director....
in 1969 during the Nixon administration. It was separate from the Office of the Press Secretary from 1969 to 1974.
Historically, the position of White House Communications Director is given to a senior public relations staff member of the candidate's campaign staff. Often this is either the Deputy Campaign Manager or the Campaign Communications Director. The Communications Director works closely with the White House Press Secretary
The White House Press Secretary is a senior White House official whose primary responsibility is to act as spokesperson for the government administration....
, who was typically a co-worker in the president's campaign. For instance, during the 1992 Clinton Presidential Campaign
Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign for President of the United States was a critical turning point for the Democratic Party, which had controlled the White House for only four of the previous twenty-four years. Initially viewed as an unlikely prospect to win his party's nomination, Clinton did so and...
, George Stephanopoulos
George Robert Stephanopoulos is an American television journalist and a former political advisor.Stephanopoulos is most well known as the chief political correspondent for ABC News – the news division of the broadcast television network ABC – and a co-anchor of ABC News's morning news...
was Deputy Campaign Manager, who became the Communications Director after Clinton's election.
As the President's voice and vision must be clear, the Communications Director ensures that all aspects of communications are covered to ensure that the administration's message has been delivered successfully. A communications strategy must be devised to promote the President's agenda throughout all media outlets. This can include, but certainly are not limited to, the State of the Union address, televised press conferences, statements to the press, and radio addresses. The communications office also works closely with cabinet level departments and other executive agencies in order to create a coherent strategy through which the President's message can be disseminated.
With the growing importance of the Internet and New Media in terms of Presidential communication, the Office of Communications is having to branch out, and this have been given an added impetus by the election of Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...
who made large use of the internet, and more specifically social media sites such as Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...
to reach out to his supporters in order to solicit donations and spread his campaign message.
- Assistant to the President for Communications and White House Communications Director: Dan Pfeiffer
- Special Consultant to the President for Media Affairs: Anita Dunn
- Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications: Jennifer Psaki
Jennifer Rene Psaki is the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and the Deputy White House Communications Director. A native of Greenwich, Connecticut, Psaki graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2000...
- Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting: Jon Favreau
Jonathan "Jon" Favreau is Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama. Favreau attended the College of the Holy Cross, graduating as valedictorian. In college, he accumulated a variety of scholastic honors, and took part in and directed numerous community and civic programs...
- Director of New Media: Macon Phillips
- Director of Media Affairs: Tom Gavin
- Director of Broadcast Media: Dag Vega
- Director of Specialty Media: Shin Inouye
- Director of Hispanic Media: Luis Miranda
- Director of Citizen Participation: Katie Stanton
- Director of African American Media: Corey Ealons
Directors since 2001
- Karen Hughes
Karen Parfitt Hughes is the Global Vice Chair of Burson-Marsteller. She served as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State with the rank of ambassador. She resides in Austin, Texas.-Early life:Born in Paris, France, she is the daughter...
(2001 – 2002)
- Dan Bartlett
Daniel Joseph Bartlett was a Counselor to the President in the Bush administration. The position was previously held by Karen Hughes, who vacated the post in 2002. On June 1, 2007, he announced his resignation and that he would be leaving the White House on July 5, 2007...
(2002 – January 5, 2005)
- Nicolle Wallace
Nicolle Wallace is a best-selling author and political commentator. She previously served as communications chief during the presidency of George W. Bush and in his 2004 re-election campaign...
(January 5, 2005 – July 24, 2006)
- Kevin Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan was the White House Communications Director, also known as the Assistant to the President for Communications, from July 24, 2006 until January 20, 2009. From April 2005 he was the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach at the U.S...
(July 24, 2006 – January 20, 2009)
- Ellen Moran
Ellen Moran is chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Gary Locke. She previously held the position of White House Communications Director. Her predecessor was Kevin Sullivan, who held the position under the Bush administration...
(Jan 2009 – April 2009)
- Anita Dunn (April 2009 – Nov 2009)
- Daniel Pfeiffer
Daniel Pfeiffer is Assistant to the President of the United States and the White House Communications Director. He was previously a member of Obama's presidential transition team....
(Nov 2009 – Current)