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Scott Michael Stanzel (born January 15, 1973) was a political appointee in the administration of President of the United States George W. Bush. On October 16, 2006, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow announced that President Bush had named the Iowa native to a position as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary.
Stanzel is the son of Ned and Chelon Stanzel, and grew up in Sac City, Iowa, where his father raised cattle and hogs.
He graduated from Iowa State University in 1995. In 2005, Stanzel received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the Iowa State University Alumni Association. In 2007, he was elected to the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as chair in 2012 and 2013. Stanzel also served on the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication Advisory Council at Iowa State University from 2007 to 2012.
Stanzel is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He served as president of the Iowa Gamma chapter while attending Iowa State University.
Scott Stanzel has served in high profile communications roles for nearly 15 years. As a spokesman and media adviser for a United States Senator, the President of the United States and two of the most scrutinized Fortune 500 companies, Stanzel has managed communications strategy on many of the biggest news stories in recent times.
Stanzel currently lives in Seattle, Washington, where he is the Director of Consumer Communications for Amazon.com. From 2009 to late 2011, he led Stanzel Communications, a firm providing public relations strategy, crisis communications and media training services to corporate clients, government leaders and political candidates.
In the summer and fall of 2010, Stanzel served as campaign manager for Defeat 1098. Ballot initiative 1098 would have established a state income tax in Washington for the first time. Defeat 1098 was successful in stopping the proposed tax, prevailing by nearly 30 points - a significant turnaround considering the 39-point deficit in the first public poll taken on the issue in the spring. Washington will remain one of seven states with no state income tax.
Stanzel graduated from Sac Community High School in Sac City, Iowa, in 1991. In May 1995, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Iowa State University.
Upon graduating from college, he went to work for the Dole for President campaign as the Northwest Iowa Field Representative. Following Senator Bob Dole’s victory in the Iowa Caucuses, Stanzel was recruited to serve as the Deputy Finance Director for the Lightfoot for U.S. Senate campaign. In January 1997, he was hired as the Assistant Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
In September 1999, Stanzel left the Grassley office to work for the Bush for President campaign. After serving in communications roles in several primary states, at the campaign headquarters in Austin, Texas, and on the Florida Recount Team in Tallahassee during the historic post-election recount, Stanzel was selected to be a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team, which guided President-elect Bush’s Cabinet nominees during the Senate confirmation process. When President Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, Stanzel was asked to become a White House spokesman. He served in the White House Office of Media Affairs, where he was the primary spokesman for President Bush for reporters serving news outlets in 14 Midwestern and Industrial Belt states.
In August 2003, Stanzel accepted a position with President Bush’s reelection campaign. In his role as Press Secretary at Bush-Cheney ’04, Stanzel traveled with President Bush to campaign events throughout the country serving as national campaign spokesman to television, radio, newspaper and wire reporters covering the campaign. After President Bush’s election victory, Stanzel became a Senior Communications Advisor to the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Following President Bush’s second inauguration in 2005, Stanzel moved to the private sector to work for Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington, as a Senior Public Relations Manager. In this position, he planned media relations activities and served as a spokesman for Microsoft on security issues.
On November 29, 2006, President Bush’s appointment of Stanzel to be Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary brought his return to the White House. In this role, Stanzel served as a spokesman for President Bush on a variety of issues, including homeland security, education, agriculture and energy. As Deputy Press Secretary, he worked on the front lines with the most talented and aggressive reporters in the world. Stanzel conducted numerous on camera briefings in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House and at the “Western White House” in Crawford, Texas. Stanzel regularly prepared President Bush for media interviews and developed the strategy for the lengthy series of final interviews the President conducted over the last months of his time in office.
In the fall of 2011, Stanzel married Priscilla Jones, a prosecutor in the office of the South Carolina Attorney General and former White House staff member for President George W. Bush. They have a daughter, Millie. Stanzel is a runner and triathlete. In September 2008, he completed the 140.6 mile ultra distance Ironman Wisconsin triathlon in 12 hours 27 minutes. In July 2009, he finished Ironman Switzerland in just over 11 hours. Stanzel served as chair of the Iowa State University Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a former member of the Greenlee School of Journalism Advisory Council at Iowa State University.