In the News

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By SKDK’s Stephen Krupin, Senior Vice President & Director of Executive Communications

Not long after President Obama’s second inauguration, I walked down 23rd Street in Foggy Bottom toward my new office in the State Department. I was a couple of days from starting as incoming Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief speechwriter, and was a couple of blocks from the building when I ran into two of the outgoing secretary’s writers.

In what felt like an informal, serendipitous changing-of-the-guard ceremony, my counterparts passed to their successor some well-earned wisdom: In diplomacy, every word matters. True, writers and pundits always feel this way, sometimes to a fault. But foreign policy amplifies the fussiness. One of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speechwriters recalled the time when, in an otherwise innocuous list of countries, an ally took offense when its name came after another’s. The offended country had established diplomatic relations with the United States earlier; it just happened to come later in the alphabet.

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SKDK is proud to announce new hires in its New York and D.C. Offices:

Alex Bloom, Vice President, New York Office – A former former director at public affairs firm O’Neill and Associates, Alex has served as press secretary on the campaigns of Warren Tolman and Katherine Clark in Massachusetts. Prior to that, Alex was a reporter at the Arizona Republic, the Eagle-Tribune and The Enterprise in Brockton, MA.

Kelsi Browning, Senior Associate, New York Office – Kelsi joins SKDK after serving as regional press secretary in central Pennsylvania on Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Prior to the campaign, Kelsi worked on the Hill serving as press secretary for Congressman Mark Takai, press fellow for Congressman Charlie Rangel, assistant to the director of the DSCC and staff assistant for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

Emily Samsel, Associate, New York Office – Emily also joins SKDK from the Clinton campaign, where she served as a surrogates associate and press analyst. Prior to that, Emily served as a community editor for MSNBC and digital associate for 270 Strategies. She also worked on President Obama’s 2012 campaign.

Rachel Palermo, Associate, D.C. Office – Prior to joining SKDK’s public affairs team, Rachel served as assistant press secretary of the Democratic National Committee and led the Democratic Party’s women’s media outreach. Previously, Rachel held roles at American Bridge 21st Century, Precision Strategies and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kasey Hampton, Associate, D.C. Office – Kasey joins SKDK after serving in the Obama administration as a communications advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, Kasey ran communications and operations for a medical device trade association in northern Virginia.

Kasey O’Brien, Associate, D.C. Office – Kasey joins as a member of SKDK’s digital team. She previously worked on Hillary for America’s digital team in Ohio, where she developed and implemented digital engagement strategies.

Elizabeth Dansky, Associate, D.C. Office – Elizabeth joins SKDK’s team full-time after serving as a public affairs intern in the D.C. office. She previously interned at the Clinton Foundation and in the office of Congressman Ed Perlmutter.