WASHINGTON – Today RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the hiring of Chuck DeFeo, who will serve as the RNC’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Digital Officer. This announcement follows the hiring of Andy Barkett as the RNC’s first Chief Technology Officer. Both Andy and Chuck will work toward structuring the RNC around data, digital, and technology operations.
“I’m thrilled to announce that Chuck DeFeo has come aboard as our new Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Digital Officer. Chuck is a true digital pioneer who will bring a wealth of experience to the RNC,” said Chairman Priebus.
“He will join CTO Andy Barkett in revolutionizing the way the RNC approaches data, digital, and technology. His experience on campaigns, in government, with grassroots advocacy, and in new media will be invaluable. I’m excited to work with him and to see all we’re able to accomplish as a team.
“The RNC is focused on a long-term data and digital strategy that will benefit the entire party and candidates at all levels for years to come. With Chuck and Andy at the helm, I’m confident we will successfully leapfrog the Democrats in our capabilities.”
“It’s a privilege to join the effort to build a successful digital strategy for 2014 and beyond,” said DeFeo. “Digital media is fundamentally about grassroots engagement and empowerment. As we build out our digital capabilities, our focus will be on enabling our grassroots activists to help us win elections.”
Chuck DeFeo joins the RNC from Edelman, where he was a Senior Vice President and led the Washington, D.C. office’s digital issues management and public affairs group. He was first nationally recognized for writing the strategic plan and managing the digital efforts for President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign – where numerous online voter contact tools were pioneered. He previously led the digital efforts for the RNC during the historic Republican gains of the 2002 election, when he built the first online advertising buy that used voter and consumer data to target online advertising to voters.
After the 2004 election, he became Vice President and General Manager for Townhall.com and the Salem Communications network of news and opinion websites, building the organization into the largest conservative online community of its time. DeFeo later served as co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for Townhall Magazine.
Immediately prior to joining Edelman, he built and led the digital division for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and its international affiliates. At the ACLJ he conceived the Tweet for Youcef campaign – part of the international effort that lead to the freeing of a pastor illegally imprisoned in Iran.
DeFeo also spent much of his career as a technology and legislative aide to Senator and United States Attorney General John Ashcroft. After September 11, 2001, he managed priority information technology (IT) projects for the Attorney General at the Department of Justice and assisted in the realignment of IT expenditures toward the global war on terror.
Other notable accomplishments include serving as a senior digital consultant to the McCain for President 2000 campaign, acting in a digital leadership role for two Republican National Conventions, and directing digital operations for the 2004 Presidential Inaugural Committee.
GOP Chairman Reince Priebus