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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Jill Zuckman

Jill Zuckman specializes in public affairs and crisis communications at SKDK, working with many of the country’s best known corporations and managing complex issue campaigns. She is well known for leading the communications effort to free Alan Gross, an American imprisoned in Cuba for more than five years. Over the course of his imprisonment, Jill kept the media engaged in Alan’s case – building public pressure to force the U.S. government to strike a deal with Cuba and bring Alan home.

For that and other work, Jill was named by PR News as one of 2015’s “Top Women in PR” and received the Holmes Report’s SABRE Award for PR Agency Citizenship.

Before joining SKDK, Jill was an award-winning political correspondent and served as assistant to the secretary and director of public affairs for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

At the U.S. Department of Transportation, Jill was responsible for developing the secretary’s nationally acclaimed campaign against distracted driving, as well as managing numerous high-profile crises spanning multiple modes of transportation. In addition, she crafted the secretary’s media response to Congress when it partially shut down the Federal Aviation Administration, leaving tens of thousands of employees, contractors and construction workers out of work, resulting in a rare reversal by Congress during an August recess.

At the Transportation Department, Jill oversaw a high-impact social media operation, communicating the benefits of transportation investment on job creation, as well as the need for airlines to respect passengers’ rights. When she left the department, Secretary LaHood told POLITICO: “She really put DOT on the map, not only in Washington, but also around the country. She has raised the profile of DOT to a level that most people can never remember.”

Prior to serving in the Obama administration, Jill worked as a national political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and before that, The Boston Globe. She covered four presidential elections, as well as the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and the subsequent Democratic comeback in 2006. Jill is a recipient of the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Coverage of Congress and the New Hampshire Primary Award.

At SKDK, Jill co-chairs the firm’s cyber security practice, working with companies to prevent and prepare for the worst, or to handle the ensuing public relations crisis. She also serves as the chief spokesman for the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, a coalition consisting of American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, along with seven labor unions.

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Bill Knapp

Bill Knapp is a veteran political strategist and ad maker. He has served as a senior media strategist to six U.S. presidential campaigns and several dozen congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral races. He has also served as a strategist and communications consultant for Fortune 100 companies and major national nonprofit organizations.

Bill was the leader of the Clinton-Gore and DNC creative teams in 1996 and was a member of the media team for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, producing numerous state-specific and national ads. Bill served as the lead strategist and ad maker for all three of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s successful New York City mayoral campaigns, 2020 presidential run, nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, and most recently Independence USA Super PAC, which produced hundreds of commercials across 30 congressional races in both the 2018 midterms, and 2020 presidential election. He has worked for a range of foundations and advocacy groups, including recent work for Tobacco Free Kids and for the Ad Council, producing a set of pro-vaccine PSA commercials.

With more than 35 years in the industry, Bill has extensive experience developing strategy and nationwide ads for major corporations, as well as market research and stakeholder strategic development. He has led efforts for Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, American Express, Motorola, AT&T, and The Business Roundtable, among others.

Raised in New York City, Bill was a researcher/producer at NBC in New York and a producer at Independent Network News in Washington, D.C., before joining legendary political consultant and documentary filmmaker, Bob Squier. Bill currently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, three kids and dog, Woodley.

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Mike Morey

Mike is a partner at SKDK and has more than 20 years working in communications, politics, and campaign management. He is a national public affairs leader specializing in crisis communications, war room operations, and campaign management for large-scale public affairs campaigns, philanthropic organizations, and fortune 500 companies. Previously, he served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s New York communications director and has extensive experience in campaign politics and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.

Mike has managed some of the most intensive communications campaigns in the country, including the removal of four confederate monuments in the City of New Orleans on behalf of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the passage of statute of limitations reform for child sex abuse, litigation on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse, and executing the weeks-long international commemoration of Hurricane Katrina in 2015. He has also worked on behalf of the US Conference of Mayors, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, ChargePoint, and Microsoft.

At SKDK, Mike spearheaded the formation of the firm’s Foundations and Philanthropy practice division, leading its work with The Rockefeller Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation.

He is a frequent on-air political analyst.

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Kerri Lyon

Kerri Lyon oversees communications and media strategy for corporate and nonprofit clients seeking to raise their profiles, sway public opinion and manage major crises. From education to technology to economic development, Kerri works across many sectors and media channels to help her clients reach their target audiences and achieve their goals. Whether she is helping New York’s craft brewers restore a much-needed tax incentive, protecting reproductive rights at the U.S. Supreme Court, empowering teachers to advocate for their profession or launching the nation’s first major solar mobile-charging initiative, Kerri brings a laser-like focus and intensity to every challenge.

Kerri has a unique understanding of the current media landscape having worked on both sides of the profession. As a former television news reporter for NY1 and WCBS-TV, she knows what it takes to create and place a compelling news story. And as a former communications director at the New York City Department of Education, she knows how to distill complicated policy issues to build public awareness and support.

Kerri was recently named one of the PR News’ Top Women in PR for 2017. During her reporting days, she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and won a New York Broadcaster’s Association award for in-depth reporting. She is active on several nonprofit boards and advisory boards in her home borough of Brooklyn.

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