The Dream Team
Hillary Clinton is making history, and she's not doing it alone. She wisely stacked her team with impressive women across the board — from media relations and technology to political strategists.
Here are 10 ladies helping pave the way to the Oval Office.
Kristina Schake, Deputy Communications Director
As the former communications chief to Michelle Obama, Kristina was responsible for successfully shaping the First Lady’s image into the “everywoman.” Did you fall in love with Michelle when you saw photos of her low-key trip to Target? That time she showed up at the 2013 Oscars? When she did her “Mom Dancing” with Jimmy Fallon that garnered 22 million views on YouTube? All highly strategic power plays by Kristina.
Kristina’s resume also includes promoting the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, handling media relations for Maria Shriver when she was the first lady of California, and preparing the same-sex couples challenging Proposition 8 for press.
Huma Abedin, Top Aide
Huma has been a longtime aide and advisor to Hillary since the 1990s. Her career at the White House started in 1996 when Huma was an intern while also attending George Washington University. Later, she was hired as a staff assistant to Hillary’s chief of staff. Cut to 2007, and Huma is Hillary’s traveling chief of staff.
Huma is expected to have a more senior role in the campaign, the details of which have yet to be announced.
Amanda Renteria, Political Director
Amanda Renteria is the first Latina woman to work as a chief of staff to a U.S. senator — ever. A graduate of Harvard and Stanford respectively, she was head of the staff for Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and has also worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.
Of her work ethic, an unidentified source recently echoed Hillary when saying, “She blooms wherever she is planted.”
Jennifer Palmieri, Campaign Communications Director
Jennifer was the director of communications at the White House, a position she left to join the Hillary 2016 effort.
During the Bill Clinton administration, Jennifer served as White House deputy press secretary, special assistant to White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, and deputy director of scheduling and advance. She was also the national press secretary for the 2004 Edwards for President campaign and the national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee in 2002.
So, yeah, she’s qualified.
Karen Finney, Senior Spokeswoman and Strategic Communications Advisor
A contributor and host on MSNBC, Karen is familiar with media, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
Karen has a long relationship with the Clintons as well: She served as deputy press secretary to Hillary while she was First Lady and worked on Bill’s 1992 presidential campaign. Karen also served as traveling press secretary during Hillary's 2000 Senate campaign and communications director at the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009.
Stephanie Hannon, Chief Technology Officer
To oversee her campaign’s technology development, Hillary pulled from one of the most innovative companies in our country: Google. Stephanie Hannon, Google's former director of product management, civic innovation, and social impact, is tasked with developing platforms through which to engage with Hillary voters. This includes, but is not limited to, apps and websites.
While at Google, Stephanie built technological tools around natural disaster response and getting out ballot location information. She also oversaw the international expansion of Google Maps.
Let it be known that Stephanie is the first woman to be named chief technology officer of a major presidential campaign.
Katie Dowd, Digital Director
In this new role, Katie will reportedly work closely with Stephanie Hannon.
Katie was formerly the director of digital strategy at the Clinton Foundation, a job that lured her away from the State Department’s digital team. Hillary 2016 is also her second time working an HRC campaign; Katie was Hillary’s new media director during her 2008 bid for office.
While senior advisor to the U.S. chief technology officer at the White House, Katie notably headed up ladies-in-STEM initiatives, along with providing underprivileged communities with technology access.
Jenna Lowenstein, Deputy Digital Director
Jenna will work just under Katie Dowd.
Prior to being tapped by Hillary, Jenna was the vice president of digital engagement at EMILY’s List, an organization that helps get pro-choice Democratic women into office. She reportedly took the social media presence of EMILY’s List to new heights, breaking fundraising records during the 2014 midterms. She was also the deputy digital director for the Democratic National Committee and for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's 2013 campaign.
Of her former employer, Jenna recently commented, “Girls deserve to see themselves in their government. EMILY’s List makes sure that happens.”
Jenna also shared that she loves the app Timehop, which lets you view social posts you made in years past. “Anyone running a social media program should take note — never underestimate the power of nostalgia,” she said.
Mandy Grunwald, Senior Media Consultant
Mandy has been a top advisor to the Clintons for more than 20 years. She was an original member of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992, as director of advertising, and she also worked on Hillary’s 2008 campaign. Recently, she has been a top strategist to Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Paul Begala, an advisor to Bill Clinton during his presidency, once described Mandy as “the only Harvard-educated, genius level IQ I know who enjoys reading People magazine.” Mandy’s pop culture savvy was put to good use: She encouraged Bill to play his saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 (insta-pop culture gold). She also produced a short biographical movie about Bill, The Man From Hope, which was the centerpiece of the 1992 Democratic National Convention. (Fun fact: Hillary Clinton threw her a baby shower at the White House.)
It is widely speculated that Mandy was the inspiration behind two fictional political powerhouses: Mandy Hampton on The West Wing and Daisy Green from Primary Colors.
As senior media consultant, Mandy will advise Hillary on her media strategy and commercials.
Brynne Craig, Deputy National Political Director
Brynne has been working as a deputy scheduler for Hillary. She served as political director during Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign (he is reportedly a friend of Hillary’s), and she was also the Ohio deputy field director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
She will be tasked with generating ways to recruit more voters, specifically targeting certain groups. Brynne and her colleagues recently met with a diversity hiring group to discuss collaborating over the course of Hillary’s campaign.