Ed Gillespie is one of the country’s top communications strategists with a long record of success in business, politics and government. He is founder of Ed Gillespie Strategies, a strategic consulting firm that provides high-level advice to companies and CEOs, coalitions, and trade associations.
At the beginning of 2010, Gillespie was named chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which helps elect state attorneys general, lieutenant governors, secretaries of state and house and senate candidates across the country. He took the position after successfully serving as chairman of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s campaign in 2009, which has been described as a model for Republican victories.
Gillespie was Counselor to the President in the last 18 months of the Bush Administration. During his service at the White House he helped handle a series of historic events that included the 2007 surge of US troops in Iraq, the response to the financial markets collapse in the Fall of 2008 and the peaceful transition of presidential power in 2009. More than a year before taking the Counselor title, Gillespie had led the successful Supreme Court confirmation efforts of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
To accept the White House job in June 2007, Gillespie left his bipartisan public affairs firm Quinn Gillespie and Associates (QGA), one of Washington, DC’s premier government relations firms. During Gillespie’s seven years as its co-chairman, QGA’s clients achieved a string of high-stakes public relations and policy objectives.
A former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Gillespie in 2004 became the first GOP chairman in 80 years to preside over his party’s winning the White House, House and Senate. His aggressive outreach to African-American and Hispanic voters was a highlight of his tenure, and he was known for being an effective advocate on television and talk radio shows.
One of a small number of Americans to have had offices in the West Wing of the White House and within steps of the Dome of the US Capitol, Gillespie was a long-time aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. As policy and communications director for the House Republican Conference, he was a principal drafter of the Contract with America, the 1994 campaign platform on which Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. He edited the book version of Contract with America, which reached number two on the New York Times’ bestsellers list.
Ed Gillespie is the author of Winning Right: Campaign Politics and Conservative Policies, published by Simon and Schuster in Spring 2006. He is a popular public speaker represented by Leading Authorities speaker’s bureau.
Gillespie is also a founding board member of Resurgent Republic, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to informing the debate over the proper role of government. Through a steady stream of national polls and focus groups, Resurgent Republic helps policy makers, think tanks, interest groups and others advocate for policies that are consistent with conservative principles.
Gillespie serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Catholic University of America. As a student at CUA, he got his first job on Capitol Hill—as a Senate parking lot attendant. He met Cathy, his wife of 22 years, on a congressional league softball team. They have three children: John (19), Carrie (16) and Mollie (13) and live near George Washington’s Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County, Virginia.