New Priorities USA Staff Announcements
Priorities USA is announcing additional key staff members as it continues to expand to serve as the primary presidential super PAC working to defeat Donald Trump and support the Democratic nominee with paid media. This cycle, Priorities is continuing to innovate in the digital space, adding a new political department, expanding its opposition research department and building a larger, more aggressive earned communications program. Priorities has already begun advertising in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida as part of an initial $100 million investment in these core states.
The growing team will include:
Josh Schwerin will serve as Senior Strategist and Communications Director. He will oversee the organization’s communications efforts and help guide the messaging and advertising strategy for 2020. During the 2018 cycle, Josh served as Communications Director for Priorities. Previously, he was National Spokesman for Hillary for America, National Press Secretary for the DCCC and Press Secretary for Terry McAuliffe’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 2013.
Kristal Knight will serve as Political Director. She will be responsible for building and strengthening Priorities USA’s political infrastructure with a goal of driving new opportunities, deepening existing relationships, and identifying new ways to work with our partners. Kristal most recently served as the Founding Executive Director of Emerge Tennessee, where she trained democratic women to run for elected office across the state and worked across the national Emerge network training affiliate states. She has a host of campaign experience, most recently serving as the Political Director for the Bredesen for Senate campaign. She’s an alum of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign and the 2012 Barack Obama reelection campaign. She has also worked in local politics in DC and has served as a trainer for several national political organizations.
Danielle Kantor will serve as the Director of Battleground State Communications. In this role, she will build and oversee an integrated press and digital communications team on the ground in battleground states to help localize the 2020 election. Her team will source and collect personal stories about Trump’s impact on American families and their communities and work with local media to amplify those stories. Before joining Priorities, Danielle ran an independent consulting firm, served as the Director of Content & Creative on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and was a Creative Director at Blue State Digital. She got her start in politics on the Obama 2012 email team.
Aneesa McMillan will serve as Director of Strategic Communications. In this role, she will work on message development and be Priorities’ point person for coordinating messaging with allied groups focused on beating Donald Trump. Aneesa began her career with Congresswoman Terri Sewell and later worked for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign, For Our Future, Keith Ellison’s bid for DNC Chair and, most recently, Mayor de Blasio’s office in New York City.
Sarah Kendrick will serve as the Director of Strategy. She will oversee messaging and content decisions for Priorities USA’s advertising operations. Previously she was as an organizer for OFA and worked at Bully Pulpit Interactive, where she helped campaigns, non-profits, and Fortune 100 companies build brands and messaging and content strategies to better connect with audiences.
Madeline Kriger will serve as the Digital Media Director. She will work on building out an in-house media buying operation to run all of Priorities USA’s online ad campaigns for the 2020 cycle. She joined Priorities in 2017 to oversee digital advertising programs in Virginia, Alabama, and Florida, as well as last cycle’s online mobilization program. Before that, she ran Hillary for America’s listbuilding program, as well as the campaign’s online voter registration and absentee ballot request and chase programs.
Nick Ahamed will serve as the Director of Analytics. He will manage Priorities USA’s analytics operation, ranging from election forecasting to voter targeting and testing to tool development. He spent the 2018 cycle as our Deputy Director of Paid Media Analytics. Previously, he served as a Data Scientist for Civis Analytics, including supporting Priorities USA and Senate Majority PAC in their data-driven strategy in 2016. In 2017, he won the Gates Scholarship to research how we improve voter turnout models at the University of Cambridge, from where he holds a MPhil in Politics and International Relations.
Carly Manes will serve as the Director of Training and Fellowships. In this role, she will lead our external training program, focused on training over 200 state-based political operatives in the essentials of running digital ad campaigns in more than 10 states. Additionally, she will oversee our internal fellowship program. She joined Priorities in 2018 as the Deputy Director of Training and Fellowships, launching our inaugural fellowship program that helped launch eight young people into their political careers. Prior to her work at Priorities, she worked in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement as an organizer and legislative advocate.
Sharon Reshef will serve as Research Director. She also held this role during the 2018 cycle, heading up Priorities’ opposition research efforts in over 50 House, Senate, and gubernatorial races. Prior to joining Priorities, she worked in the Research department at Hillary for America in 2016, focused specifically on Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. She got her start in campaign research at Correct the Record in 2014.
Jacobo Licona will be the Deputy Research Director. He will help lead Priorities USA’s opposition research effort. For the past two election cycles, he worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). During the historic 2018 cycle, he helped take back the House as the Midwest Research Director. In the 2016 cycle, Jacobo worked as a Research Analyst in the DCCC’s independent expenditure. He’s also provided research and communications support for progressive and Latinx organizations.
These changes come as part of Priorities USA’s transition into the 2020 presidential cycle. This also includes a new program to provide partners with in-depth modeling, targeting, and opinion research for digital, TV, mail and field programs; a cycle-long digital program consisting of both paid and organic communications, which will be the first effort of its kind on the Democratic side; continued efforts to train progressive operatives in understanding, planning and executing digital campaigns; as well as a strong focus on both persuading moveable voters and mobilizing the Democratic base.