Sean M. Spicer has served as RNC Communications Director since 2011, and in February of 2015 added the duties of Chief Strategist. In his additional role, he leads the negotiations and implementation of the new presidential primary debate structure. He coordinates with broadcast networks and conservative media partners and serves as a liaison to the Republican candidates and their campaigns. In addition, he works with the Counsel’s Office and the Chief of Staff on assisting state parties with delegate selection and planning for state conventions, primaries and caucuses. He also serves as a liaison to the Republican National Convention staff on messaging opportunities and media strategy.
Sean arrived at the RNC in February of 2011, at a time when it was deep in debt and had a badly tarnished brand. While building an award-winning press and research team from the ground up, he helped lead a dramatic turnaround at the committee. During the 2012 cycle, he oversaw significant growth in the RNC’s social media efforts, an upgrade of the party’s television studio, a massive expansion of its surrogate operations and the creation of an in-house video and production team. His team’s rapid response efforts were featured on ABC News.
The aftermath of the 2012 election brought more changes to the Communications Department, as the RNC expanded its engagement with minority media outlets and diverse communities. Sean reinstituted a nationwide communications training effort, known as the RNC’s “Comms College.” The video production team also expanded to produce more original video content, winning the committee dozens of Pollie and Telly awards. He oversaw the implementation and messaging surrounding the party’s widely praised post election “Growth and Opportunity Report.”
In preparation for the 2016 presidential election, Sean has led the RNC’s effort to improve the primary debate process. Working with networks and other partners, he is in charge of producing a schedule that will promote higher quality, informative debates.
Sean is a frequent guest on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, and every election cycle his department has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in earned broadcast media.
He previously served as Assistant United States Trade Representative for Media and Public affairs in the George W. Bush administration, logging over 440,000 miles of international travel in two and a half years.
From May 2005 to 2006, Sean was Communications Director for the House Republican Conference, overseeing media training for members of Congress and over 220 press secretaries. Before that, he served as Communications Director for the House Budget Committee.
During the 2000 election cycle, Sean was the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Director of Incumbent Retention, overseeing the re-election strategies of 220 members of Congress and publishing the first-ever “Incumbent Survival Guide.”
Despite Sean’s work for Republicans, he’s known to partner with his Democrat counterparts to raise money for good causes. In 2012, he shaved his head on ABC’s This Week, after raising $16,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation with the DNC’s Communications Director. They also worked together to raise $30,000 for military public affairs officers in an event they dubbed, “Flacks for Flacks Who Wear Flak Jackets.”
Among Sean’s other distinctions are serving as an Easter Bunny at the White House Easter Egg Roll, being lampooned by the Onion, cited as a “Moment of Zen” on the Daily Show, and being mocked by David Letterman.
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