Pia Carusone

Pia is a Managing Director at SKDK and oversees the day-to-day management of the firm’s political department. Pia brings over 15 years of campaign, communications, media, and brand development work to her clients at SKDK.

After years of winning tough campaigns, Pia met U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords and they quickly bonded over growing up in republican families. Pia was the youngest female chief of staff in the house when she joined Gabby’s team. After the stunning and horrific Tucson shooting, Pia was recognized on the floor of Congress for her leadership role in the aftermath.

Carusone was most recently the lead strategist and ad maker for Senator Mark Kelly, who won the special election to fill Senator John McCain’s seat. Previously she served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration.

Carusone’s campaign work also includes guiding Ritchie Torres to victory in NY-15, defeating a powerful anti-choice, anti-equality opponent. And in New Hampshire, where her roots in politics began with Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, Carusone helped Congressman Chris Pappas secure his first re-election in New England’s most competitive district. In 2006, Carusone managed the first campaign of now Congressman John Sarbanes and then joined him on Capitol Hill as his Communications Director.

Pia has given hundreds of TV, radio, and print interviews and is frequently called to comment on the latest developments in politics and government. Originally from Saratoga Springs, NY, Pia is a graduate of Bard College and now resides in Washington, DC with her wife, daughter and their two dachshunds. Ask Pia what her favorite bourbon is – she’s the co-founder of Republic Restoratives Distillery.

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Oren Shur

Oren is a Managing Director at SKDK and oversees the day-to-day management of the firm’s political department. For over 15 years, he has served as a media consultant, campaign manager and communications strategist on some of the most competitive Democratic campaigns and independent expenditures across the country.

In 2020, Oren served as an adviser to the Biden campaign’s paid media team. In 2016, he was the Director of Paid Media for Hillary for America, where he directed the campaign’s advertising program – overseeing the creative development and placement for all television, radio, direct mail, digital and newspaper ads in the primary and general elections.

Oren has a winning track record not only in blue states, but has also successfully navigated Democratic campaigns in more difficult states like Missouri and Kansas.  In 2018, Oren was the lead media strategist and ad-maker for Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s gubernatorial campaign – a win that U.S. News called “one of the biggest Democratic victories of the night,” in a state that Donald Trump carried by over 20 points.

Prior to joining SKDK, Oren served as the Director of Independent Expenditures for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), where he oversaw paid media programs in 11 states that totaled nearly $50 million.

He previously served as the Campaign Manager of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s successful re-election campaign in 2012 – where he oversaw a strategy that required Gov. Nixon win a significant amount of cross-over support from Republicans to defeat a well-funded opponent in a race targeted by both parties.

Oren also previously served as Campaign Manager to New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish; Communications Director on Missouri Gov. Nixon’s successful 2008 campaign for governor; Communications Director to U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD); Press Secretary/spokesman on Cardin for Senate in 2006; campaign aide to former U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

A native Marylander, Oren graduated summa cum laude from The George Washington University with a degree in political communication. Oren lives in Takoma Park, MD, with his wife and their twin boys.

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Doug Thornell

Doug is a partner at SKDK, the head of its political advertising department, and one of the few Black media consultants in democratic politics. National Journal named him to their recent list of “50 People Changing the Game in Washington” and wrote that he “is one of the most plugged-in public affairs professionals in Washington.” Doug joined SKDK in 2011 and has served as a top advisor to Presidential, House, Senate and gubernatorial campaigns, Fortune 50 companies and progressive and civil rights organizations.

In 2020, Doug oversaw an advertising department that produced over 800 ads. He was the lead media consultant for the NAACP, Rep. Joe Morelle and part of the advertising team for the DCCC IE, Senate Majority PAC, Demand Justice and AFSCME. Doug also helped to train over a dozen women candidates as part of Emily’s List media training operation.

Over his 20-year career, Doug has been a lead media strategist to the Democratic National Committee, the top spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a senior aide at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and a top advisor to both Senator Chris Van Hollen and the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as the traveling spokesman for Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Doug resides in Maryland and graduated from Cornell University where he played varsity football and earned a degree in government.

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