Key People-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
updated November 8, 2010  disclaimer

  General Election Edition -- Page 2

PODS "six of everything" in theory...but not always and in the closing weeks of the campaign some folks were deployed out into various positions in the field.
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Regional Communications Directors (announced July 15, 2008)
Great Lakes and Ohio Valley  - Dan Leistikow
Started on the campaign as communications director for the Wisconsin primary and later served as communications director for the North Carolina primary campaign.  Communications director on John Edwards 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign.  Communications director to Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI) starting in 2004, and also worked on Doyle's 2006 re-election campaign; joined Doyle's staff in Feb. 2003 as press secretary.  Communications director for Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan’s 2002 campaign.  Deputy communications director for Carnahan's Senate office in Washington, D.C., 2001.  Communications director for the Washington State Coordinated Campaign in 2000.  Chief speechwriter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams from Feb. 1999 to June 2000.  He also served in the offices of Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell and Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie.  1998 graduate of Georgetown University.

Midwest - Amy Brundage
Previously a deputy press secretary. 
Came to the campaign after serving as press secretary in Obama's Senate office in the latter part of 2007.  Press secretary for Sen. John Kerry.  Communications director at Kerry's Keeping America's Promise.  Started in Kerry's Senate office in 2005 as assistant press secretary and then deputy press secretary.  Worked in scheduling and advance on Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.  B.A. in both English and political science from the College of the Holy Cross.  Native of Rockport, Mass..

Northeast - Gannett Tseggai
Started as the campaign's deputy press secretary for the Iowa caucuses.  Previously Sen. Ted Kennedy’s deputy press secretary in Washington, DC.  During the 2004 campaign, she worked as a press assistant on Missouri Gov. Bob Holden's re-election campaign, then as a press assistant on Missouri Victory 2004, the Democratic Coordinated Campaign, and finally was dispatched to Ohio.  Graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia; double majored in political science and communications.

West - Nayyera Haq

Press secretary at the Children's Defense Fund.  Communications director to U.S. Rep. John Salazar (CO-3), 2005-06.  Press advisor to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  Worked on specialty media for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  Master's of Studies in Law from the Georgetown University Law Center.  Bachelor's degree in history from the University of Michigan.  Native of New York.

South - Melanie Roussell
Most recently press secretary/spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee.  Communications director and earlier staff assistant for U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (LA-2), April 2002-Feb. 2007.

Southwest - Shannon Gilson
Served as communications director on Obama's Nevada caucus campaign.  Senior strategic communications specialist at AFSCME, 2003-07.  Reporter/senior producer at Pacifica Network News (and KPFK).  Senior editor at Rubin Postaer and Associates.  Graduate of UCLA.

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Luke Peterson
From June-Nov. 2008, Peterson served as the campaign's Great Lakes and Ohio Valley region data director (IN, MI, OH, PA); he started as data manager in April 2007.  Worked in organizing and field services for the American Federation of Teachers, 2003-07.  Targeting director for the Maryland Democratic Party, Fall 2002.  Redistricting consultant for Tucker Gibson, LLC, 2001-02.  Assistant voter file manager for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Fall 2000.  B.A. in political science from Trinity University, 2002.  Peterson "has been hacking together databases since 2000 with various organizations in three fourths of the lower 48 states as voter file manager, redistricting consultant, and union organizer."  (Politics Online Conference 2008)

*Midwest - Ethan Roeder
Started as voter file manager on Obama's Nevada caucus campaign.

Northeast - Brian Alseth     and National Voter Protection Data Director
Associate at Kutak Rock, LLP in Omaha, 2005-06.  Law clerk to the Honorable Robert W. Pratt of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.  J.D. from Creighton University School of Law, 2002.

West - Warren Flood

South - Matthew Loveless

Southwest - Doug Taylor

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Nate Snyder
Snyder started with the Obama campaign in July 2007 as the at-large organizing director in Las Vegas, NV and also served as Northeast GOTC director for the Nevada campaign, then went on to other states including deputy state director in Connecticut and targeting director in Wisconsin.  Monadnock regional coordinator on Sen. John Kerry's New Hampshire primary campaign.  Worked for SEIU in upstate NY as a political and labor organizer.  Field organizer in the James River Valley and the Yankton Sioux Resrvation for the 2002 South Dakota Democratic Coordinated Campaign (Sen. Tim Johnson re-election campaign).  2001 graduate of Syracuse University.

Midwest - Lauren Kidwell
Started as regional field director for South Central Iowa on Obama's Iowa caucus campaign.  Regional field director for the 4th CD with the Minnesota Coordinated Campaign in 2006.  Worked in Senator Obama's DC Senate office from January 2005-June 2006 mainly as a legislative correspondent.  Regional director for NW Illinois on Obama's 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate; field staffer in Central Illinois on Obama's primary campaign for U.S. Senate.  Graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in political science and speech communications, 2004; president of the University's College Democrats, 2003-04.  

Northeast - Megan Wilbur      ...GOTV Director in Montana
Alternate Clinton delegate to 2008 Democratic National Convention from Ferndale, Michigan.  Consultant for the Dewey Square Group.  Graduate of the University of Michigan, 2004.

West - Ben Rohrbaugh       ...GOTV Director in Colorado
Field director on Sen. Chris Dodd's Iowa caucus campaign.  Field director on Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle's successful Feb. 27, 2007 campaign.  Worked on the Christine Jennings recount in Florida.  Ran the volunteer field program for Congresswoman Melissa Bean's successful 2006 re-election campaign in the Illinois 6th CD.  John Kerry campaign in Northern Michigan.

South - Trista Allen
Allen started as the campaign's Southern regional field director in Chicago, was briefly field director in Georgia and then state director for the Alabama primary.  Spokesperson for the Dallas County District Attorney, 2007.  Political director on Chris Bell for Governor, 2006.  Executive director of the Women's Health Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives, 2004-05.  A field organizer for Kerry/Edwards on the closing push in New Mexico, 2004.  Membership director for the Texas Council on Family Violence, 2001-02.  Comptroller for the Texas Democratic Party, 1999-2001.  Graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, 1998.

Southwest - Becca Sharp
Experience includes training director for EMILY's List; started there in May 2001 as deputy training director.  Field staffer on Bill Bradley's presidential campaign.

West and South - Jeff Link       
(March 2007)  Server support engineer and abuse department coordinator at, 2005-07.  President and CEO of IntraHost Communications, Inc., a webhosting and design business; started in 1999 and sold in Oct. 2007.  B.S. in business computer systems from Bradley University, 2005.

Northeast and Great Lakes -
Robert B. Naylor
(July 2008)  President and founder of Bay Breeze Technology Center, Inc. in Nassawadox, VA since Oct. 1999  Vice president of technology and information at Personic Software, Inc. 1998-2001.  Previously worked in management positions at CDI Corporation, Keystone Natural Water, Peoples Bank, N.A., Unifund Leasing, Inc. and Telerx Marketing, Inc.  B.A. in organizational management from Eastern College evening division, 1994; A.S. business administration/comuter science from Arcadia College evening division, 1992.     ...note: during last month in Ohio working on Boiler Room operations.

Midwest and Southwest - Jason Hoekstra
(Aug. 2008)  Lead software developer for Quintiles Transnational, 2007-08.  Owner of Solex, Inc., 2001-07.  Senior developer for NTi, 2001-06; senior application developer for Allstate, 2002-05; senior engineer at Intellisuite, Inc, 2004-05.  Web developer at HighTower Inc., 1999-2000.

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Mike French
Earlier served as head of the Western Caucus States delegate team in Chicago.

*Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Teddy Goff
During the primaries Goff served on the campaign's mass email team, writing and editing fundraising, recruitment, and messaging emails and developing communications and segmentation plans.  Degree in English and political science from Yale University.

Gary Lee
(started in Chicago in summer 2007) Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Southern California, 2007.

Anna Kim

Damian Bednarz
Online organizer on Obama's NH primary campaign (started May 2007).  Bednarz' involvement with the Obama effort began with his role as state director of Draft Obama in New Jersey and NJ for Obama.  Master's degree from Seton Hall's Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, May 2007.  Traveled to Poland as a Fulbright scholar in 2004 ("Coalition-Building in Post-Communist Poland: The SLD and Beyond").  Undergraduate degree in political science from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Michael Negron
Blogger on Obama's NH primary campaign.  As a volunteer, Negron served as the deputy election protection coordinator for the Harold Ford, Jr. campaign in 2006.  He has interned at the Center for American Progress and for Sen. Dick Durbin’s Judiciary Committee staff.  In 2004 he addressed the Democratic National Convention as winner of MTV's "Speak Out for the Future" essay contest.  J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was co-founder of the Harvard Law & Policy Review..  M.A. from the University of Memphis.  Served as an officer in the United States Navy.  B.S. from Georgetown University.  Native of Chicago.

Graves Spindler
A field organizer on the Nevada caucus campaign.

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Katie Bradley
Started in Des Moines as a volunteer on the Iowa caucus campaign, then on staff, and continued on to South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio before arriving in Chicago.  Graduate of Creighton University with a degree in journalism.  Omaha native.

Midwest - Lenora Fisher
Mid-Atlantic regional account manager for World of Good.  Master's degrees in international peace and conflict studies from American University and in theological studies from Wesley Theological Seminary.  Bachelor's degree in sociology from Greenville College in Illinois.

Northeast - London Rakestraw
(started July 2008) Working towards an M.B.A. in marketing from Loyola University in Chicago.  B.A. in entrepreneurship from Florida State University.

West - Beth Jones

South - Brett Prather
Started as office manager/volunteer coordinator on the Iowa caucus campaign.  Case worker in Sen. Patty Murray's office in Seattle, WA.  B.A. from Chapman University in Anaheim, CA.

Southwest - Taylor Fiscus
(June 2007)  Started on the campaign as operations director in Nevada, and later did operations in Arizona, Ohio, North Carolina, Montana, and Colorado.  Search planner at Slingshot, 2006-07.  Volunteer coordinator at Cranley for Congress, Human Rights Campaign, Fall 2006.  B.S. in advertising/public relations from Texas Christian University, 2006.

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Brandon Hurlbut
Worked in the political department on Obama's NH primary campaign, overseeing veterans, seniors and labor, then served as Delaware state director.  Came to the campaign from Washington, DC where he was associate at Baker & Daniels LLP.  Campaign experience includes Dorothy Brown for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, 2000; Bill Bradley for President, 1999–2000; and Glenn Poshard for Governor of Illinois, 1998.  J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, 2004.  B.A. from University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 1997.

Midwest - Myesha Ward
Started on the campaign as deputy director of delegate operations.  Deputy political director for Sen. John Kerry's PAC Keeping America's Promise.  In 2004 Ward worked as deputy GOTV director - Milwaukee on the Kerry-Edwards campaign, as deputy political director for Southern and Northeastern States on Kerry-Edwards, in the boiler room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, and as a delegate tracker for Southern states at Kerry headquarters in Washington, DCJ.D. from the University of Maryland; bachelor's degree from Howard University.  From Olney, MD.

Northeast -

West - Toni Morales
Earlier deputy Western political director.  Experience includes political director at the Arizona Democratic Party from March 2006-Oct. 2007.  Attended Arizona State University.

South - Karine Jean-Pierre

(July 2008)  Came to the campaign after serving for four months as press secretary to Congressman Anthony Weiner.  Southeast regional political director on John Edwards for President, Jan. 2007-Feb. 2008.  State and local outreach coordinator at Wal-Mart Watch, 2006-07.  Deputy chief of staff at the New York City Council, 2004-06.  Master's degree in public policy from Columbia University's School of International  and Public Affairs, 2003.

Southwest - Raul Alvillar
Served as Western regional politcal director during the early campaign, then state director for the Arizona primary.  Worked for Sen. John Kerry's Keeping America's Promise PAC.  In 2004 Alvillar served as political director on the New Mexico Democratic Coordinated Campaign, and earlier worked in the boiler room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, worked as a delegate tracker at Kerry headquarters in DC, and served as 1st CD regional field director on Kerry's NM caucus campaign, 2003-Feb. 3, 2004.  Worked for the ATR Institute at the University of New Mexico.  Deputy field organizer on Richard Romero for Congress, 2002.  District scheduler for Congressman Tom Udall, 2000-02.  Volunteer coordinator on the 2000 NM Coordinated Campaign.  Started off in politics working for the Democratic Party of New Mexico as originator of the party's e-news newsletter.  Studied political science at the University of New Mexico.  Born and raised in New Mexico.

Deputy Southwest - Danielle Cendejas
(June 2008)  Southwest delegate tracker, March-June 2008; started out in June 2007 as a field organizer (Derry) on the NH primary campaign, then worked as a field organizer in New Jersey and Dallas, TX;  Field representative for Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, 2005-07.  Field coordinator on Don Barbieri for Congress, 2004.  Bachelor's degree in political science and applied communications from Gonzaga University, 2004.

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley / Midwest - Kristen Birdsall
(July 2008)  Research associate at Hillary Clinton for President, Nov. 2007-June 2008.  Research associate at Raymond Research, 2006-07.  B.A. in English from UC Davis, 2006.

Northeast / West / South / Southwest - Will Ragland


Great Lakes and Ohio Valley - Dan Wagner

Midwest - Mark Beatty
Started on the campaign as a special assistant to Nevada field director Mike Moffo during the caucus campaign.

West - Mike Garcia

Southwest - Michael Simon


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