Jennifer Cunningham has been called the “most powerful woman in Albany” by the New York Post and was cited as “the top political strategist at what is considered the state’s most politically powerful union” by The New York Times. She joined SKDKnickerbocker in 2007 after more than two decades of experience as an influential labor leader and political strategist.
Jennifer is a Partner in the New York office of SKDKnickerbocker. At the firm, Jennifer provides strategic communications services for many of the nation’s largest advocacy and non-profit groups. She has been at the helm of numerous political and legislative campaigns, including efforts to enact public campaign financing and expand health insurance in New York State, and an ongoing DC-focused campaign to prevent drastic cuts in federal spending to hospitals. In addition, Jennifer was the principal architect behind the messaging, strategy and award-winning television ads for successful marriage equality campaigns in New York and Washington State.
Jennifer’s portfolio also includes candidate races at the state and federal level. She directed the media and advertising for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s winning bid in a crowded Democratic primary and tough general election, and she served as a top advisor to Andrew Cuomo’s successful campaigns for Governor and Attorney General. In 2012 she oversaw paid media and strategy for Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s upset victory over Republican incumbent Nan Hayworth in one of the year’s most high-profile races.
Prior to joining SKDKnickerbocker, Jennifer spent eight years as Executive Vice President for Politics and Legislation of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which represents 300,000 healthcare workers throughout New York State, Massachusetts, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Under her leadership, 1199SEIU staved off drastic cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare professions proposed by then Governor Eliot Spitzer, grew in membership and became the most politically powerful union in the state.
Jennifer also served as Deputy Counsel to the Speaker of New York State Assembly and practiced law for several years with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.