Douglas Hattaway




Communications Consultant

President and CEO, Hattaway Communications

Former Spokesman, Hillary Clinton for President (2008)

Former Spokesman, Al Gore for President (2000)

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Doug Hattaway is a Democratic Party consultant who has worked in a variety of press and communications roles for prominent elected Democrat politicians since the 1990s. Hattaway is involved on the board of directors for a number of left-of-center nonprofits, including the 501(c)(4) funding and fiscal sponsorship group Sixteen Thirty Fund. 1 He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hattaway Communications, a firm that includes many of the nation’s most notable left-leaning funding organizations and advocacy groups, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for American Progress, among its clients. 2

Notable positions held by Hattaway include serving as spokesman for both Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign; in communications roles for current U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) while she was Governor of New Hampshire and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD); and in consulting roles for the Obama White House and various Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Hattaway first gained media prominence for the many appearances he made as Vice President Al Gore’s spokesperson during the 2000 Florida recount. 3


Doug Hattway received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1986, and a master’s degree from Florida State University in 1992. Hattaway began his career as an aide to Congressman Andy Ireland, who initially was a Democrat but changed his party affiliation to Republican in 1984. 4 In 1997, Hattaway became press secretary to New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) during her first two-year term and reelection campaign. After leaving Governor Shaheen’s office, Hattaway joined Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign as a spokesman. Hattaway was frequently quoted in the press during the recount and continued to claim that Gore should have won the 2000 election based on “voter intent.” 5

Following the contentious 2000 campaign, Hattaway briefly served a 90-day stint as press secretary to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), while the full-time press secretary, Anita Dunn, was away on maternity leave. During his brief stint in Daschle’s office, Hattaway was thrust into covering the office’s communications during the September 11th attacks, as well as an anthrax scare that targeted Daschle’s office and other congressional offices. 6


Following his brief stint in Senator Daschle’s office, Hathaway returned to Boston to launch Hattaway Communications, a private communications consulting firm that aimed to bring on media firms, political campaigns, ballot initiatives, and other Democratic-aligned advocacy groups as clients. 7 Since founding Hattaway Communications in 2001, Hattaway has brought on many left-leaning organizations as clients. 8 In 2006, Hattaway worked as a consultant to the campaign of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. 9 In 2008, Hattaway took a hiatus from leading his firm day to day to become spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, serving from January to June of 2008. 10

Following Clinton’s defeat by Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination and Obama’s subsequent election to the Presidency, Hattaway was mentioned as a candidate on the five-person shortlist to serve as Obama’s White House Press Secretary. Hattaway was one of two outside candidates who were not currently serving in other positions at the White House. Jay Carney was ultimately named White House Press Secretary instead. 11

During the Hillary Clinton email scandal that unfolded during the 2016 election cycle, Hattaway was listed along with dozens of other state department officials and Democratic political operatives who had Clinton’s personal email address associated with a private server, and corresponded with Clinton using that email address. 12

Hattaway is also a prolific writer and speaker on effective communications strategies framed as “aspirational” or “storytelling”. 13 In the winter 2020 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Hattaway published a feature article titled “Aspirational Communication,” where he set out the tactics his firm uses on behalf of Democratic candidates and left-leaning organizations. In the piece, Hattaway states that advocates should focus on individuals ambivalent about an issue, and to target messaging and certain strategic stories towards them to influence decision making. Hattaway used the article to mostly promote the work of one of his clients, Freedom to Marry. 14

Board Positions

Hattaway serves on a variety of boards for various nonprofits and charities, including the international development organization Results for Development, which supports education, nutrition, and workforce development aid in low income and middle income nations. 15 Hattaway is also active with the Trust for Public Land, a large advocacy group focused on creating public parks and green spaces, and  is a member of the Smart Growth America Coalition. 16

Consulting Activity

Since 2001, Hattaway has operated his own political consulting firm, Hattaway Communications, which currently has sixteen employees. 17 Payments to the firm available through public records showed payments dating to 2003, including multiple five- and six-figure payments from many Democratic candidates and organizations including Hillary Clinton for President, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the campaign of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). In 2008, the firm received a payment of over $200,000 from the Winning Message Action Fund. 18

Hattaway communications also has private foundations, non-profit advocacy groups, government agencies, NGOs, and universities as consultants. Among its clients are many of the most notable left-leaning advocacy and funding groups in the United States.

Clients listed on the firm’s website include:19


  1. “Sixteen Thirty Fund.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  2. “Clients.” Hattaway Communications. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  3. “About.” Hattaway Communications. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  4. “Doug Hattaway.” Ballotpedia. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  5. “Analysis of Florida Ballots Proves Favorable to Bush.” The New York Times. April 4, 2001. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  6. Quenqaua, Douglas. “Hattaway Builds Own Firm After 90 Days with Daschle.” PR Week. December 10, 2001. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  7. Quenqaua, Douglas. “Hattaway Builds Own Firm After 90 Days with Daschle.” PR Week. December 10, 2001. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  8. “Our Work.” Hattaway Communications. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  9. “Doug Hattaway.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  10. “Doug Hattaway.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  11. Bacon, Perry. “Obama could pick new press secretary by week’s end” The Washington Post. January 27, 2011. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  12. Kumar, Anita and Kennedy, Corinne. “Influential people worldwide wrote Clinton on her personal email address” The Sacramento Bee. August 12, 2015. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  13. Hattaway, Doug. “Aspirational Communication” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Winter 2020. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  14. Hattaway, Doug. “Aspirational Communication” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Winter 2020. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  15. “About.” Hattaway Communications. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  16. “County closes on land for Legacy Trail extension” YourObserver. June 18, 2019. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  17. “Team Members.” Hattaway Communications. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  18. “Disbursement Search: Hattaway Communications” Federal Election Commission. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  19. “Clients.” Hattaway Communications. Accessed November 16, 2020.
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