David Plouffe is a Democratic political strategist who currently is a board member and strategist for ACRONYM, a left-of-center advocacy nonprofit specializing in voter mobilization through digital outreach. He also works as the president of policy and advocacy at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, an LLC which provides seed funding for technology and education initiatives founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
Plouffe has been criticized for accepting paid speaking engagements from organizations connected to authoritarian governments, and he was fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics for undisclosed lobbying.
In 1985, Plouffe began attending the University of Delaware. He left the school in 1990 without getting a degree. He finished his degree in political science in 2009. 
Early Campaign Work
Plouffe worked on numerous Democratic political campaigns throughout the 1990s. 
Two years later, Plouffe worked as a state field director for Sen. Harkin’s Democratic presidential primary campaign. After Harkin’s loss to then-Gov. Bill Clinton (D-AR), Plouffe became the campaign manager for John Olver’s (D-MA) successful Congressional run. 
In 1995, Plouffe was briefly the campaign director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He then served as campaign manager for the successful Congressional reelection of Robert Torricelli (D-NJ). 
In 1999, Plouffe became the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
AKPD Messenger and Media
From 2001 to 2008, Plouffe joined AKPD Messenger and Media, a political consulting firm that serves Democratic candidates, as one of four partners with David Axelrod, John Kupper, and John Del Cecato. 
Aside from Barack Obama, AKPD’s most notable clients during Plouffe’s tenure were John Edwards (D-AK) when he ran for president in 2004, and Deval Patrick’s (D-MA) run for governor in 2006.  After Plouffe left the firm in 2008, AKPD worked on the mayoral campaigns of Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) and Bill de Blasio (D-New York City). 
Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign
During the Democratic primary, Plouffe’s strategy was to target low-turnout caucus-based states with small delegate counts, like Nebraska, Idaho, and North Dakota. In doing so, Plouffe amassed enough state wins for Obama to build enough momentum to defeat then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in larger states where her name recognition and political roots had the strongest impact. 
Plouffe emphasized keeping campaign strategy and communication confidential, and especially avoiding any public appearance of infighting. 
In Obama’s victory speech, he called Plouffe’s campaign “the best political campaign… in the history of the United States of America.” 
After the election, Plouffe initially served as an outside advisor to Obama’s presidency.  In 2009, he wrote The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory.  Plouffe also joined the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, a nonprofit which sponsors speaking engagements by politicians. 
In 2011, Plouffe became a senior advisor to the President at the White House by replacing David Axelrod who had left to join Obama’s reelection campaign. In his role, Plouffe rarely gave policy suggestions and instead focused on the mechanics of politics and public support. Plouffe left the White House and his advisory role in 2013, shortly after Obama’s reelection. 
In 2014, Plouffe became a senior vice president of policy and strategy at Uber. In 2017, Plouffe was fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics for failing to register as a lobbyist after contacting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a client of AKPD Messenger and Media, on behalf of Uber to amend regulations on the use of ridesharing at Chicago’s airports. 
Plouffe left Uber in 2017 to work as the president of policy and advocacy at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. 
In 2014, Plouffe became a board member of the Obama Foundation, the Obama family’s charitable foundation.  In 2015, Plouffe joined the board of Rubicon Global, the Atlanta-based “Uber for trash.” 
In 2019, Plouffe became a board member and strategist of Tara McGowan’s Democratic-aligned digital consulting network ACRONYM and its associated PAC, PACRONYM. His role is to boost fundraising and manage the organization’s ongoing digital strategy campaign to oppose the reelection of President Donald Trump, which plans to spend $75 million on digital advertisements. 
Shortly after joining ACRONYM, the organization launched Shadow, a software company which it paid over $60,000 to manage the Iowa Democratic Caucus voting process. Technical errors in Shadow’s software resulted in a three-day delay in reporting caucus results. 
In 2009, Plouffe accepted $50,000 to speak in Baku, Azerbaijan, at an event sponsored by an organization with ties to the country’s authoritarian government. After receiving criticism from numerous human rights organizations, Plouffe donated the entire fee to the National Democratic Institute, a pro-democracy nonprofit aligned with the Democratic Party. 
The following year, Plouffe received $100,000 for two speeches given in Nigeria to a South African telecommunications company, MTN Group, which has ties to the Iranian government. Plouffe denied any wrongdoing and claimed the speaking topics were technological in nature.