SKDK’s Doug Thornell Named PR Week’s 40 Under 40


Doug Thornell
MD, SKDKnickerbocker 

When it comes to the public affairs sphere, Doug Thornell knows the Beltway like few others.

His prior comms work for a number of top Democrats and causes – former Gov. Howard Dean, two years as national press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and a post as a senior adviser to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in the early years of the Obama White House – serves him well as an MD now charged with building out the firm’s public affairs practice.

“Doug has taken every experience from the campaign trail and Congress and converted that into strong, actionable counsel for his clients,” says Kelley McCormick, fellow MD at the firm.

In four years, he’s worked on some of SKDKnickerbocker’s biggest accounts: political campaigns and leading energy and tech companies. Thornell is one of the agency’s media trainers, working with CEOs, candidates, and nonprofit executives to hone their press appearances. He recently launched SKD’s Beyond the Beltway Insights initiative, a joint public polling project with Benenson Strategy Group. His promotion last year made him the firm’s youngest MD.

He is a regular on the cable news circuit and among a group of political thought leaders who give their views on hot-button issues for the National Journal.