February 26, 2013

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Names Mike Shields Chief of Staff

WASHINGTON - Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement announcing Mike Shields as the new RNC Chief of Staff:

“I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Mike Shields as the RNC Chief of Staff, and I am confident his energy, insight, and proven leadership will be assets to our Committee and our Party as we look toward the elections of 2013, 2014 and beyond,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “Mike brings a wealth of political experience with him to the RNC, having worked on the Hill and in the field, for national committees and at the state level. We’re excited to welcome him to the team as the RNC takes our positive message of opportunity to every voter in every neighborhood.

“The Growth and Opportunity Project will make its recommendations to the Committee in March, and Mike will be well-suited to guide their implementation. From engaging new voters, training candidates and volunteers, enhancing our digital capabilities, and sharing our message, we have plenty of work to do.”

Priebus also announced that outgoing Chief of Staff Jeff Larson will be staying on and helping the Committee as a Senior Advisor. “I want to thank Jeff for his dedication and tireless work over the last two years. His leadership was instrumental in righting the ship at the RNC as we overcame a $25 million debt to break fundraising records, allowing us to give more support to our presidential nominee than in any previous election. I’m extraordinarily grateful for Jeff’s steady hand during this pivotal time for the Committee, and pleased he is staying on as a Senior Advisor.”

“I’m thrilled to return to the RNC, where I began my political career almost twenty years ago,” said Mike Shields. “I look forward to helping Chairman Priebus implement his vision to build a more welcoming, inclusive Republican Party as we strive to grow our ranks and win more elections. Republicans have incredible opportunities in the coming years--from breaking new ground on the digital front to reaching new voters--and I’m honored to be a part of that work under Chairman Priebus. To position ourselves for 2016, we must leapfrog the Democrats’ digital and data capabilities. It’s absolutely essential for our party to be the leaders in campaign technology.”

Biography of Mike Shields:

Mike Shields joins the RNC from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) where he served as Political Director.

Born on Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, Louisiana, Shields moved with this family to Britain in 1978 where he lived for 10 years.

After moving back to the United States, Shields attended George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he studied Government and Politics.

He began his foray into politics when he joined the Republican National Committee staff in 1994. He then became the Communications Director of the Republican Party of Virginia in January of 1996.

In July 1996 Shields became Communications Director for then U.S. House Speaker

Newt Gingrich in his Political Office. In this role he served as chief political spokesman to the Speaker and coordinated his media presence around the nation. When Gingrich left office in 1998, Shields joined Gingrich in the private sector, helping him set up Gingrich Communications.

Shields has since served briefly in the Bush administration at the U.S. Labor Department, as a campaign manager and operative in Alabama and Pennsylvania, and as the Research Director at the NRCC.

In 2005 Shields became the Chief of Staff to Congressman Dave Reichert, overseeing the re-election of the only Republican congressman on the west coast from Canada to Los Angeles in the tough 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

In 2009 he returned to the NRCC to serve as Director of Special Projects and Director of the committee’s Independent Expenditure unit during the historic 63 seat gain in the House of Representatives. He oversaw a $44 million budget, running ads in 66 districts – 55 of which were won by the Republican candidate.

Shields went on to oversee the entire Campaign Division of the NRCC for the 2012 elections in which Republicans elected their second largest majority since World War II.