American Bridge 21st Century
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(page updated Jan. 7, 2015)

"super PAC" formed Nov. 23, 2011 [FEC] and 501(c)(4)

"American Bridge 21st Century is a progressive research and communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions and helping you ascertain when Republican candidates are pretending to be something they’re not."

Note:  On Sept. 24, 2014,
The Wall Street Journal reported American Bridge 21st Century has "80-plus staff."

Founder  David Brock

Founder (May 2004) and CEO of Media Matters for America.  Renounced conservative ties in 1997 (Esquire "Confessions of a Right-Wing Hit Man").  Investigative writer for The American Spectator.  Editorial page editor at the Washington Times.  Writer and senior editor at Insight magazine.  B.A. in history from UC Berkeley, 1985.  Author of five books.

Chair  Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Served as Lt. Gov. of Maryland from 1995 -2003, and ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2002.  A Deputy Assistant Attorney General during the Clinton Adminstration.

President  Brad Woodhouse

(Feb. 3, 2014; reported by Politico's Mike Allen on Jan. 25) President of Americans United for Change from July 2013, his second stint, and will continue in that role.  Communications director at the DNC from Feb. 2009; senior communication adviser for the DNC from June-Nov. 2008.  President at Americans United for Change since Feb. 2007; took leave for DNC.   Consultant for Hildebrand Tewes Consulting, Oct. 2005-Feb. 2007.  Communications Director for Americans United to Protect Social Security, Feb. 2005-Oct. 2005.  Several months as press secretary to Sen. Jon Corzine (NJ).  Communications director for the DSCC, March 2003-Nov. 2004.  Press secretary on Erskine Bowles' 2002 U.S. Senate campaign.  A policy aide and then press secretary to Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC).  B.A. in political science from University of South Carolina, 1991. From Raleigh, NC.  twitter

Vice President/Campaign Director Jessica Mackler

(announced April 1, 2013)  Campaign manager on U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley’s U.S. Senate race in Nevada, June 2011-Nov. 2012.  Campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil in the MD-01 congressional race in 2010.  Consultant to American Rights at Work, Dec. 2008-April 2010.  Research director on Friends of Mary Landrieu, Aug. 2007-Feb. 2010.  Owner of the Athena Group, a political research and strategy firm, Feb. 2005-July 2007.  Deputy research director (June 2003-Feb. 2005) and researcher (July 2001-June 2003) at EMILY's List.  UC San Diego.  twitter

Vice President C-4 Director of American Bridge 21s Century Foundation/Senior Advisor to the PAC  Eddie Vale

(announced April 1, 2013)  Communications director for Workers' Voice, the AFL-CIO super PAC, and communications director for Protect Your Care.  AFL-CIO political communications director.  Progressive Media USA.  New Hampshire deputy press secretary on John Edwards for President.  In the 2006 cycle Vale served as assistant communications director on Ned Lamont for Senate in Connecticut, and earlier as deputy campaign manager on John Hall's primary campaign in New York's 19th CD, and as deputy communications director on Spitzer for Governor in New York.  Field director on Ginny Schrader's 2004 congressional cmapaign in Pennsylvania's 8th CD.  Degree in environmental law from the Law School at PACE University.  Seven years organizing for NYPIRG on environmental and consumer issues.  Undergraduate degree from UMASS Amherst.  Grew up in Long Island, NY.  twitter

Vice President/Senior Advisor to Correct the Record  Burns Strider

(announced Nov. 1, 2013)  President of American Values Network from Feb. 2009.  Founder and principal at The Eleison Group, LLC from July 2008.  National faith director on Hillary Clinton for President.  Senior advisor to House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 2003-Dec. 2006; policy director of the House Democratic Caucus in 2006 under Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC).   Southern regional communications director at the DCCC, Nov. 2001-Jan. 2003.  Chief of staff to Congressman Ronnie Shows (MS-4).  Worked for Secretary of State Marshall Bennett in Jackson.  Interned with Al Gore.  Attended Mississippi State University, and received his degree in history at Delta State University, 1990.  From Grenada, MS, where his father was sheriff.  twitter


Communications Director  Ben Ray

(from Jan. 5, 2015)  Spokesman for Forward NC, aligned with Sen. Kay Hagan's 2014 re-election campaign in North Carolina.  Press secretary for the Indiana Democratic Party.  Graduate of Centre College, 2007.  Kentucky native.  twitter

Deputy Communications Director  Jesse Lehrich

(started as press secretary in May 2014)  Assistant press secretary at Organizing for Action, April 2013-April 2014.  Competitive manager (April 2012-April 2013), media assistant (Dec. 2011-April 2012) and media buying intern (Sept.-Dec. 2011) at GMMB.  Interned on the Obama campaign, Aug.-Nov. 2008.  B.A. in political science from Colorado College, 2011.  twitter

Director of Online Engagement  Ryan Sims

(June 2014)  Digital account executive at Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey, Nov. 2013-June 2014.  New media manager (March 2012-Nov. 2013) and new media assistant (July 2011-March 2012) at EMILY's List.  Masters in political management from GWU's Graduate School of Political Management, 2011.  Bachelor's degree in marketing, finance from University of Kentucky, 2008.

Research Director/Senior Advisor  Steven D'Amico

(from Nov. 2012; research team lead for presidential and vice presidential research from June 2011-Nov. 2012)  Research director on Strickland for Governor, April-Nov. 2010.  M.P.S. in political management from The George Wshington University, 2009; B.A. in political science from University of Rochester, 2005.

Tracking Director/Senior Advisor  Kelli Farr

(Feb. 2013; national tracking director from April 2011)  Media analyst/tracker at Progressive, May-Nov. 2008.  Photographer/administrative assistant at Eventography Inc., Dec. 2006-April 2008.  Finance assistant on Phil Angelides for Governor (CA), Jan.-Nov. 2006.  B.A. in government from Cal State University Sacramento, 2007.

Department Manager, Tracking  Heather Reid

(March 2014)  External relations coordinator at The Atlas Project/Democratic GAIN (June  2013-March 2014); program assistant at The Atlas Project, May 2012-May 2013.  B.A. in political science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011.

Due Diligence Research Director  Abraham Payton

(from Nov. 2012; due diligence manager from May-Nov. 2012)  Due diligence analyst at VR Research, Feb. 2009-May 2011.  Assistant director at Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., June 2006-Nov. 2008.  B.A. in political science, management studies from St. Olaf College, 2008.


Executive Assistant/Director of Operations  Michael Lewis

(April 2014)  Previously office manager at Media Matters for America, Jan. 2011-April 2014.


"rapid response effort to repel false attacks against potential Democratic Presidential aspirants by the Republican Party and conservative organizations in anticipation of the 2016 Presidential race" >

Executive Director  Isaac Wright

(announced Nov. 1, 2013)  ounder of Wright Strategies LLC. He began working in campaign online activities and media when he served on the national communications staff of the Gore-Lieberman 2000 campaign. Wright served as the South Carolina communications director for Hillary Clinton campaign’s in 2008 and was communications director in the office of Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.  twitter

Aide to the Director  Ellie Cohen

(Dec. 2013)  Political intern at the Democratic Governors Association, Sept.-Dec. 2013.  B.A. in journalism from The George Washington University, 2013.

Deputy Political Director and Aide to the Executive Vice President  Jessica Church

(March 2014)  Also blogger at Patheos/Faithful Democrats from Aug. 2012.  Alssociate at the Eleison Group, June 2013-March 2014.  B.A. in religious studies and environmental thought and practice from University of Virginia, 2013.

Communications Director  Adrienne Elrod

(announced Nov. 1, 2013)  Chief of staff to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). Elrod has held senior communications roles in the offices of Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL), Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She took on various roles serving Hillary Clinton in the 2008 campaign including Texas primary communication director, manager of the eastern and southern states’ communications operation and deputy director of the congressional delegate operation.

Deputy Communications Director and Director of Surrogates  Adrienne Watson

Press secretary to Sen. Joe Donnelly.  Press secretary to Rep. Loretta Sanchez.  Press assistant to Rep. Baron Hill.  B.A. in West European history from Indiana University.  Originally from Carmel, Indiana.  twitter

Press Assistant  Daniel Wessel

(Nov. 2013)  B.S. in economics from University of Delaware-Lerner College of Business, 2012.

Digital Director  Benjamin Fischbein

(Dec. 2013)  Vice president of digital  (Feb. 2013-Jan. 2014) and product and marketing manager (Jan. 2012-Feb. 2013) at BlastRoots, Inc..  Director at Sparkpoint Strategies, July 2010-Jan. 2012.  Director at Integrity Interactive Marketing and Branding, Jan. 2010-Jan. 2012.  Owner at Fisch Media, Oct. 2005-April 2010.  Research consultant at Koppen Group, June 2007-Jan. 2009.  Junior associate at Citigroup Smith Barney, June-Dec. 2006.  B.A. in history from American University, 2007.

Research Director  Sam Ritzman

(announced Nov. 1, 2013)  Directed the research effort for the successful re-election campaign of Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida in 2012. In 2008, he was a senior researcher on the Clinton campaign and later worked at the polling firm of Penn and Schoen.

Deputy Research Director  Carter Hutchinson

(Dec. 2013)  Research associate on McAuliffe for Governor, June-Nov. 2013.  Senior aide at Viriginia LCV.  Legislative aide to state Sen. Adam Ebbin.  Researcher on Kaine for Virginia, Feb.-Nov. 2012.  Special projects coordinator for the Shenandoah Valley Network and research assistant for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.  B.A. in history from Hampden-Sydney College, 2010.

Research Associates
Benjamin Williams

(Nov. 2013)  Internships, July-Nov. 2013.  Legal assistant/paralegal, July 2012-July 2013.  B.A. in history, philosophy, law and society from Bates College, 2012.

Joe Wiley

(April 2014)  Project assistant, elections and political processes at the National Democratic Institute, Sept. 2012-June 2013.  B.A. in government from University of Virginia.

Rebecca Charen

(June 2014)  B.A. in political science from University of Michigan, 2014.

former staff

Communications Director  Gwen Rocco  ...returning to New York

(announced as senior comm. advisor in Jan. 2014 to Jan. 8, 2015)  Director of rapid response at Terry McAuliffe for Governor, 2013.  North Carolina communications director at Obama for America, 2012.  Campaign manager on Jessica Ehrlich for Congress in FL-13.  Communications director on Natalie Tennant for Governor in West Virginia, 2011.  Press secretary to New York State Sen. Jeff Klein, 2010.  Communications director on Betty Sutton for Congress, 2010.  Press secretary of Bill de Blasio for Public Advocate, 2009.  M.P.A. from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, 2009.  B.A. in economics from University of Maryland College Park, 2007.  twitter

Deputy Research Director  Michael Cantor  ...founder and principal of WayForward Research LLC in Portsmouth, NH fr. Dec. 2014.

(to late 2014; deputy research director from Nov. 2012; research team lead for U.S. House races in 2012, and senior researcher/public records specialist from 2011-12)  Research/due diligence analyst at VR Research, 2009-11.  Media monitor/researcher on Al Franken for Senate, 2008.  J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, 2008; B.A. in political science from Northeastern University, 2005.

President  Rodell Mollineau

(early April 2011 to Feb. 1, 2014)  Communications director from Jan. 2007 and then staff director to the Senate Majority Policy Committee/U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid through Jan. 2011.  Communications director to Gov. Tom Vilsack (IA), 2006.  Communications director to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor Jan. 2003-Jan. 2006; in the 2004 cycle Mollineau served as Michican communications director on Kerry/Edwards and earlier as South Carolina press secretary on Wesley Clark for President.  Press secretary on Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate, 2002.  Deputy press secretary to U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Jan. 2000-March 2002.  Degree in communications, journalism from the University of Dayton, 1999.

Communications Director/Senior Advisor  Chris Harris ...communications director on Sen. Mark Udall's campaign from March 2014.

(started as comm. director Feb. 2011; senior advisor from April 2013 to Feb. 14, 2014)  Previously at Media Matters for America from April 2009, starting as communications and research director and then senior communictations and research director.  Communications director at the Kansas Democratic Party, 2008.  B.S. in marketing and political science from Kansas State University, 2007.

Director of Operations  Beth Eagle from Aug. 2012-Sept. 2013; Matthew Reents from June 2011-Aug. 2012.