2008 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC)
Headquarters: Offices at Civic Center Plaza in Denver, CO ...officially opened July 26, 2007
updated April 23, 2009

-See also officers and standing committees.
100 Days Out press release.

Obama - coordinating convention operations
Matt Nugen

(starting June 9, 2008)  Political director on Obama for America since early 2007.  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.

Obama - communications
Jenny Backus

(announced July 15, 2008) Backus Consulting LLC; most recently worked with the DNC on Democratic primary debates.  Communications director at the DCCC.  Spokeswoman at the DNC in the 2000 cycle.  Press secretary to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).

Obama - communications
Liz Oxhorn

(announced July 15, 2008)  Oxhorn served as director of communications planning in Chicago; she came to the campaign from her position as deputy communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Obama - Pepsi Center Manager
Paul Hegarty

Deputy Director, Grassroots Organizing at the DNC.  Prior to joining the DNC Hegarty served briefly as Assistant Deputy Director for Community Development in the Arizona Department of Commerce.  Executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party in the 2004 cycle; political director of the Arizona Democratic Party in the 2002 cycle.  Hegarty worked with the U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closing Commission, and as deputy director of advance the Office of Vice President Al Gore.  B.A. in political science from The George Washington University, 2000.  Arizona native.

Obama - director of floor operations ("boiler room")
Shelley Loos

Based in Hollywood, FL, this is Loos' fifth convention working on floor operations.  In 2003-04 she served as director of ballot access and delegates on Wesley Clark's campaign.  Worked on Bill McBride's 2002 gubernatorial campaign in Florida.  MW regional desk for Gore's Leadership '98 political action committee; field person for Gore campaign in southeastern Iowa for the Iowa caucuses starting Oct./Nov. 1999; then to California; ran the March 21 Illinois primary campaign; convention floor manager at the Democratic National Convention; returned to Illinois in late August 2000 as state director in Illinois for the fall campaign.  Nebraska native.

Obama - campaign liaisons (4th night)
Invesco Field site
Invesco Field crowd
Invesco Field press

Peter Gage
Dan Gross
Peter Weeks

and Paul Tewes, Obama's man at the DNC, described by National Journal as "the man behind the curtain"

(Senior leadership team announced April 12, 2007).
Chief Executive Officer Leah Daughtry
(announced April 12, 2007)  Chief of Staff at the Democratic National Committee (started in that role under Terry McAuliffe).  Previously held several senior posts at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Clinton Administration, including Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Chief of Staff, and lastly, Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management.  Executive Director of Man to Man/Sister to Sister.  Served on the Clinton-Gore 1992 Transition team.  Director of Convention Management for the 1992 Democratic National Convention.  Legislative Assistant to Congressman Edolphus Towns.  Daughtry is Pastor of The House of the Lord Church in Washington, D.C.  Graduate of Dartmouth College and native of Brooklyn, NY.
Chief of Staff Peggy Cusack
(announced April 12, 2007)  Managing director of the Washington office of Rendezvous Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in the production and management of large scale, high profile events; more than 15 years of experience in the special events industry.  In 2004, Cusack served as a consultant to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign, orchestrating campaign operations and logistics for the Democratic National Convention and producing the Election Night concert and celebration in Boston.  Cusack practiced as a litigator in the San Francisco office of the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and earlier was at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Eight years as a White House event planner during the Clinton/Gore Administration, including senior management roles on three presidential campaigns, two presidential inaugurations, planning committees for the Olympic Games, and two Democratic National Conventions, as well as director of scheduling and advance for Tipper Gore.; started as anadvance person on Clinton-Gore '92.  J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law, 2002.  M.A. in radio and television broadcasting from American University, 1999.  B.A. in political science, international relations from State University of New York, College at Geneseo, 1991.

Deputy CEO for "Inside the Hall" Operations Travis Dredd
Formerly Deputy Executive Director at the X PRIZE Foundation in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for oversight and management of the X PRIZE Cup, the first ever live-fire rocket and space vehicle spectator show in the country.  At the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Dredd served as Deputy Hall Manager, coordinating Convention hall activities related to security, construction and production.  He also worked as National Advance Lead for the Kerry/Edwards campaign and as Advance Director for John Kerry for President.  Staff Aide to both Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his U.S. speaking tour and President Bill Clinton on a humanitarian trip to Rwanda. Dredd also worked with the Freedom Writers Foundation, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and the 2000 Gore/Lieberman campaign. Served six years in U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science.

Deputy CEO for "Outside the Hall" Operations Cameron Moody
(announced April 12, 2007)  Until recently, Moody was the Director of Strategic Planning and Operations for the American Cancer Society's National Government Relations Office.  Deputy CEO for Operations for the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Deputy Director of Logistics for the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and Deputy Director of Transportation for the 1996 Democratic National Convention.  Moody worked on the 2002, 2000 and 1996 Olympics and the 1997 Denver Summit of the Eight (G-8 Economic Summit). He is an engineer by training and has worked in automotive and athletic shoe design and development.

Deputy CEO for Public Affairs Jenni Engebretsen
(announced April 12, 2007)  Director of communications for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  In the 2004 cycle served as a regional communications director for the Kerry-Edwards for President campaign; deputy communications director for the Democratic National Convention in Boston; and press secretary for Sen. John Edwards' South Carolina primary campaign, then his Wisconsin campaign.  Washington press secretary to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL); deputy communications director to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY); and special assistant to the press secretary during the Clinton Administration.  Graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
Deputy CEO for Intergovernmental Relations Sky Gallegos
(announced April 12, 2007)  Partner at Hilltop Public Solutions in Washington, DC.  Campaign manager on Jim Pederson for U.S. Senate in Arizona in Fall 2006.  California state director on Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc..  Deputy campaign manager/political director for Sen. John Edwards' presidential primary campaign (announcement that she had joined the campaign came in March 2003) then ran his One America Committee.  COO and political director of EdVoice, a California education and advocacy organization.  In the 2000 campaign she was California state director for the Gore primary campaign, and Western Regional Political Director for the Gore/Lieberman campaign.  Prior to the campaign she was Western political director for Leadership '98, Gore's leadership PAC.  Gallegos worked in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.  She served as deputy political director for the Clinton/Gore '96 campaign in California.  B.A. in political science from Stanford University.  Native of Colorado.

Deputy CEO for Administration and Finance Christian Duffus
Prior to joining the DNCC, Duffus was Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development for M2Z Networks, a development stage entity.  CFO for Govolution, a leading provider of electronic payment software and services to the public sector and the banking industries.  Worked with the family investment office for John Kluge at Metromedia Company where he focused on internet and telecommunications investments. Started his career with Goldman Sachs in the North American, Mergers and Acquisitions Group.  Graduate of Florida A&M University and the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business.

General Counsel Susana Carbajal
(announcced April 12, 2007)  An attorney with the Bankruptcy and Specialty Litigation Department at the law firm of Brown McCarroll, L.L.P.; joined the firm's Austin office in Nov. 2004.  J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, 2004.  Associate deputy director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, 2000-01.  Worked on the 2000 Gore for President campaign.  Staff assistant to Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15), 1998-99.  B.A. from American University, 1998.

INSIDE THE HALL (Travis Dredd)
Director of Hall Management
Melanie Roe
M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, 2007.  Worked on John Kerry's presidential campaign as part of the advance staff during the NH primary and on the travelling staff during the general election.  Degree in political science and French from Wellesley College, 2000.

Director of Hall Operations
Greg McDonald
Attorney at Greenberg TraurigGeorge Mason University School of Law.

Director of Media Operations
Theo LeCompte
[particular focus on credentialing]  Previously communications director at Western Progress; started in August 2007.  Associate director of press relations at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.  Deputy director for media affairs at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept. 2006.  A permanent press lead on the national advance staffs of Clark for President and Kerry-Edwards 2004.  Has also worked for A&E Television, HBO, NBC News and NYC2012.  Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science, 2001.

Director of Sustainability and Greening
Andrea Robinson
(Sept. 2007) Managed the greening of the New York, Shanghai and Johannesburg venues for Vice President Al Gore's Live Earth concerts.  Degree in environmental science from UC Santa Barbara.

  Deputy Director of Sustainability and Greening
Jaime Nack
(March 2008) Previously director of events and marketing at Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, an environmental consulting firm in Santa Monica, CA.  Master's in Public Policy/International Trade from UCLA; bachelor's degree in international economics, also from UCLA.

OUTSIDE THE HALL (Cameron Moody)

Director of Housing Tina Akintayo
(March 2007)  Previously director of national accounts for Omni Hotels; started with Omni in 1997. "a 14-year hospitality professional" 

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Director of Security Frank Conner
(announced Dec. 11, 2007) Thirty-five year veteran of the Denver Police Department.  Most recently, Conner served as Lieutenant for the DPD's METRO/SWAT Bureau.  He has managed security for a number of large-scale events in Denver, including the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, the 1997 Summit of the Eight and the 1993 papal visit, and provided protective details for numerous world leaders. Conner graduated from Denver's Metropolitan State College with a degree in law enforcement.
  Deputy Director of Security Jim Malone
(announced Dec. 11, 2007)  More than 30 years of service with the Denver Police Department.  Experience includes providing protection for Denver mayors John Hickenlooper and Wellington Webb under the Mayor's Executive Security Unit.  A Denver native.

Director of Transportation Andrew Ballard
Has worked on the last three Democratic National Conventions, and has experience managing transportation logistics on numerous large-scale events including the 2007 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, the 1997 Summit of the Eight, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and the 1997 and 1993 presidential inaugurations in Washington, DC.

  Deputy Director of Transportation Patrick Brown
Executive director at KSA Events, 1997-2002. Guest talent coordinator at Walt Disney World, 1997. Venue transportation manager for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee.  Regional venue transportation manager for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, 1995-96, then village and ceremonies transportation manager for the Paralympic Games.  Marketing coordinator for Underground Atlanta (Rouse Company), 1994-95.  M.B.A. from the University of Colorado at Denver, 2006.  B.S. in business from Auburn University, 1994. 

  Associate Director of Transportation (Motorpool Operations)
Sameer Punyani
B.A. in international relations from The Johns Hopkins University, 2007.

Consultant for the bus shuttle system - Event Transportation Associates, Inc. (ETA) of Denver

PUBLIC AFFAIRS (Jenni Engebretsen)
Director of Public Programs Julie Rodriguez
(Sept. 2007)  Prior to joining the DNCC staff, Rodriguez served as program administrator for the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, coordinating the City’s architecture and literary initiatives – “Doors Open Denver” and “One Book, One Denver,” respectively.  Originally from Pueblo, CO.

Director of Online Communications Aaron Myers
(started March 2008)  Director of Internet Operations on John Edwards for President, 2007-08.  Director of Internet Development for Kerry-Edwards 2004 and Kerry for President, May-Nov. 2004.  Director of Internet Operations for Edwards for President, Dec. 2002 - March 2004.  Webmaster for the Office of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin in Washington, D.C. and for Citizens for Harkin in Des Moines, Iowa, June 2001-Dec. 2002.  Freelance web designer and consultant, Dec. 2000-Jan. 2003.  Senior web producer for Gore 2000, Inc. and Gore/Lieberman, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn., June-Nov. 2000.  Experience as a web developer, designer and webmaster going back to 1995-96 when he was a web developer for WYBE-TV Channel 35 in  Philadelphia.  Graduate of The George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Communication, May 2000.
  Deputy Director of Online Communications Adam Lord
Previously worked on the John Edwards for President campaign.

Official Website Producer - Dewey Digital (announced Feb. 5, 2008)

Director of Press Operations
Karen Burchard
[particular focus on convention week]  Director of press advance on Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc.  Prior to the campaign Burchard went to grad school in England, earning an M.A. in Archaeology, and consulted at SAIC.  Deputy director of advance at the White House from early 1999 to Jan. 2001.  In August of 1998 she returned to the Department of Education and from there was detailed to the White House.  Worked at the President's Initiative on Race.  Did advance full-time until 1998.  Press lead on Clinton's '96 re-election campaign.  Worked for Secretary Riley and Deputy Secretary Kunin at the Department of Education in the scheduling and advance office from 1993-96.  Graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Linguistics and Spanish, 1987.  From Arlington, VA.

Director of Press Relations
Damon Jones
[coordinating the press operation]  Previously worked in Procter & Gamble's London office.  Originally from Detroit. 

Press Secretary
Natalie Wyeth
Previously spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority.  Worked for the LRA at Ketchum Public Affairs.   Manning, Selvage & Lee, a  PR firm in Washington, DC.  Graduate of the University of Southern California, 1998.

  Deputy Press Secretary
Kristina Edmunson

  Deputy Press Secretary
Chris Ortman

Studio '08
Holly Armstrong
(started Jan. 2008)  Communications director to Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA) for about two years through early Nov. 2007; then moved to Denver.  Communications director to Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D-OR) through Nov. 2005.  Managed city council member Jim Francesconi's campaign for mayor of Portland, 2004.  Worked on John Kerry's primary campaign starting as director of constituency organizing in Iowa in Dec. 2003, then serving as press secretary on Kerry's South Carolina campaign and communications director in Georgia.  Managed Julie Thomas' campaign against Jim Leach in Iowa's 2nd CD, 2002.  Worked in the Iowa legislature.  Graduate work in journalism at Iowa State University.  Graduate of University of Northern Iowa.  Grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and is the daughter of state Rep. Ro Foege.

Deputy Director
Nicola Frost

Booking Director
Kathy Trotter [phon.]

Brian Jones [phon.]

Ian Shiffrin [phon.]

Corey Gilmore
President of CFG Consulting, Inc..  Graduate of the University of Vermont, 2002.


Director of Political Affairs
Tasha Cole
Early voting director for Florida Victory 2004.  Senior advisor to Congressman Kendrick Meek (FL-17).  Campaign manager for Kendrick Meek for Congress and senior consultant to the Coalition to Reduce Class Size statewide ballot initiative, 2002. State director and political director of SEIU in Florida, 2001-02.  North Florida field organizer for Florida recount effort and surrogate scheduler for the 2000 Florida Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign.  Constituency outreach director/political director for the Florida Democratic Party, 1998-2001.  Assistant Get Out the Vote coordinator for McKay/Dantzler and Florida Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign, 1998. 

Director of Party Affairs (state party outreach and VIPs) Ana Ma
Chief of staff/senior counsel for Congressman Raúl Grijalva, 2003-07; worked on then Supervisor Grijalva's successful 2002 congressional campaign for the newly created 7th District seat.  Arizona Coordinated Campaign Director, 2004.  Western States Political Director for the Democratic National Committee, 2001-02.  Arizona Coordinated Campaign Director, 2000.  Political appointee under U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, 1997-2000.  Graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in political science, 1991.  From Tucson.


Director of Finance and Budget Dennis O'Brien
M.B.A. from American University - Kogod School of Business, 2007. Strategy and development at Discovery Communications, 2005-06.  Worked on presidential debates for Kerry/Edwards '04.  Director of Housing for the Democratic National Convention Committee (Boston), 2003-04.  Deputy Director of Convention Planning for the 2004 Democratic National Convention at the DNC and previously served as a Special Assistant to Chairman Terry McAuliffe.  Worked on Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign and played a key role in the 2000 presidential debates. B.A. in political science from Marquette University, 1998.  

Consultant (Procurement): Andrew J. Ruder

Director of Technology
Brook Colangelo
Staffer at QRS Newmedia.  "managed the technology and communication system deployments for two Presidential Campaigns and more than a dozen offices." Manged the technology and telecommunication construction for the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the renovation of the technology infrastructure for the Democratic National Committee headquarters, and the telecommunication infrastructure for the Human Rights Campaign’s new national headquarters.  Operations director for Kieloch Consulting, a Washington fundraising consultancies.  Aide to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman.  B.A. degree in political communications from The George Washington University.

DNCC Receptionist Katie Lewallen


Executive Producers
(announced Oct. 29, 2007)

Ricky Kirshner
- Runs RK Productions and is one of the entertainment industry's leading production executives; he has produced countless television specials, stadium spectaculars, political events and corporate gatherings and won three Emmys.  Kirshner produced the 2004 and 2000 Democratic National Conventions.  Other examples of his work include executive producer of the 2007 Super Bowl Half Time Show starring Prince, the broadcast of the 60th Annual Tony Awards in 2006, senior producer of "ABC 2000," ABC News's Millennium coverage, producer for the North American Treaty Organization's (NATO) 50th Anniversary Summit and producer for President Bill Clinton's 1997 Inaugural Gala on CBS.

Mark Squier - A media consultant and strategic adviser to Democratic candidates for federal and statewide office and Democratic party committees for more than 25 years.  Co-founder of McMahon, Squier, Lapp & Associates (MSLA) in Washington, DC (started in 1991).  Previously lead producer for nearly ten years at the Washington media firm, Squier/Eskew Communications.  Squier is an award-winning filmmaker.  He holds a Masters degree from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where he produced the Emmy and Academy Award-winning (student category) film "The Blue Men."
Production Designer Bruce Rodgers
(announced Jan. 16, 2008 - " will manage the overall set design for the podium and stage.")  As the creator of Tribe Inc., Rodgers has more than 20 years of experience as an entertainment design professional - serving as production designer, art director, concept designer and creative consultant. The Emmy-nominated designer has myriad credits in music tours, concerts, variety shows, television, advertising, corporate and industrial shows and exhibits. Currently designing the 2008 Super Bowl halftime show, Rodgers' previous credits include the 2007 Super Bowl, the Rascal Flatt's Tour, Madonna's Drowned World Tour and the creation of the Global Olympic Village for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Line Producer Lisa Geers
(announced Jan. 16, 2008 - "responsible for the operations and administrative side of the production.")  Veteran of both political and entertainment events, Geers' production credits include the last two Democratic National Conventions and the 2001 and 2006 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Conventions, where she served as Coordinating Producer.  In addition to her work on numerous awards shows, music specials, tributes and Super Bowl events, Geers was Associate Producer for the re-opening of the New Orleans Super Dome with Green Day and U2 in 2006. Bi-lingual in English and Spanish, Geers produced special events for the Nature Conservancy of California and UCLA, prior to her work in television. Her projects included the UCLA 75th Anniversary, with a keynote address by former President Clinton, an address by former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and a reception honoring former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Lighting Designer Bob Dickinson
(announced Jan. 16, 2008)  As one of the most celebrated and respected lighting designers in the industry, Dickinson's career has spanned 30 years and earned him numerous awards, including 15 Emmys. With more than 1,000 on-screen credits, highlights include three Olympic Games, dozens of award shows, the Kennedy Center Honors and televised music specials for artists such as the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, U2, Cher, Billy Joel and Elton John. Dickinson worked on the last three Democratic National Conventions and the 1997 Presidential Inaugural Gala.
Audio Designer Pat Baltzell
(announced Jan. 16, 2008)  With nearly 25 years of experience designing and engineering sound systems, the four-time Emmy winner specializes in large-scale live televised specials including two Olympic Games, dozens of award shows and 11 Super Bowl halftime presentations. Baltzell has also designed several major movie premiers including the Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars, Lion King and A Shark's Tale. With a music degree from Northwestern, Baltzell is a member of the Audio Engineering Society, the Cinema Audio Society and the Television Academy.

and not sure where fits in:
Speechwriting Co-Director Jeff Nussbaum
Nussbaum served as on-site writer, editor, and presentation coach in the 2000 and 2004 conventions.  He is a principal at West Wing Writers.  Co-author and collaborator with James Carville on the 2003 bestseller “Had Enough?” and collaborated with Sen. Bob Graham on his book “Intelligence Matters.”  Deputy communications director and speechwriter to Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle.  A speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, and later served as a senior speechwriter for Gore-Lieberman 2000.  Graduate of Brown University.

Official Providers

and former
Deputy CEO for Administration and Finance Jim McMullen
(announced April 12, 2007)  A principal with the Council for Excellence in Government.  McMullen served as a career civil servant for 26 years at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  When he retired in 2004 he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget and Strategic Planning, responsible for the DOL budget which totaled $60 billion and 17,000 staff.  After retiring McMullen was a principal with SRA International, Inc., a provider of information technology services and solutions.

Copyright © 2007, 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action