Daniel Pfeiffer

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Dan Pfeiffer
Daniel Pfeiffer.jpg
Senior Advisor to the President
In office
January 25, 2013 – March 6, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by David Plouffe
Succeeded by Shailagh Murray
White House Director of Communications
In office
November 30, 2009 – January 25, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Anita Dunn
Succeeded by Jennifer Palmieri
Personal details
Born Howard Daniel Pfeiffer
(1975-12-24) December 24, 1975 (age 40)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sarah Elizabeth Feinberg (2006–2011)
Alma mater Georgetown University

Howard Daniel "Dan" Pfeiffer[1] (born December 24, 1975) is a former Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama for Strategy and Communications.[2]

Pfeiffer was a long-time aide to Barack Obama, serving in various press and communications roles throughout his 2008 campaign for the Presidency, on his presidential transition team, and in the Obama White House. He co-hosts the Keepin' it 1600 podcast with Jon Favreau.

Early life and career[edit]

Pfeiffer was born in Wilmington, Delaware,[3] the son of Vivian Lear (née Strange), a learning specialist, and Gary Malick Pfeiffer, a financial officer for DuPont.[4][5][6] He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University. He began his career in politics working as a spokesman for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) initiative of the Clinton Administration. In 2000 he joined the communications department of Vice President Al Gore's campaign for the Presidency.

After the 2000 presidential election, he went to work for the Democratic Governors Association, and later worked for Senators Tim Johnson, Tom Daschle, and Evan Bayh.[7] Pfeiffer also served briefly as communications director for Evan Bayh's presidential exploratory committee.

Obama Campaign[edit]

In 2007, Pfeiffer was recruited to join the Obama presidential campaign by Pete Rouse – who had previously hired him in the office of Senator Tom Daschle when Rouse was serving as Daschle's Chief of Staff. Pfeiffer's first role was Senator Obama's travelling press secretary. He was later promoted to communications director.

Obama White House[edit]

After the 2008 presidential election, Pfeiffer ran the communications office for the Obama-Biden Transition team and was then appointed Deputy White House Communications Director after the inauguration of Barack Obama. Less than a year later, after the departure of Anita Dunn, Pfeiffer was named White House Communications Director. He remained in the role for the entire first term of the Obama presidency.[8]

At the start of President Obama's second term, Pfeiffer was promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications, taking over most of the portfolio previously managed in the White House by David Axelrod and David Plouffe. Pfeiffer left the White House in March 2015.

Personal life[edit]

On July 16, 2006, Pfeiffer married Sarah Elizabeth Feinberg, a senior advisor and spokeswoman for Obama's former Chief of Staff, and current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.[4] In 2011, Pfeiffer and Feinberg separated.[9] In 2016, Pfeiffer became engaged to Howli Ledbetter, former director of message planning in the White House.[10]


  1. ^ "Biography: Howard Daniel Pfeiffer". LegiStorm. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Pfeiffer takes over for Dunn". Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  3. ^ Rutenberg, Jim. "Times Topics, People". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Sarah Feinberg, H. Daniel Pfeiffer". The New York Times. 2006-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Who's who in Finance and Industry". google.ca. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "On-line Obituary For Elaine Matthews Strange". memorialobituaries.com. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Hulse, Carl (2006-05-31). "A Build-a-Protest Approach to Immigration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Dan Pfeiffer: The Next White House Communications Boss". Time (magazine). 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  9. ^ Dan Pfeiffer and Sarah Feinberg separate; Debra Messing; Chaz Bono Washington Post Achieved 12/20/2011 04:05 PM ET
  10. ^ "Former White House aide Dan Pfeiffer engaged to another Obama alum, Howli Ledbetter". The Washington Post. May 18, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Anita Dunn
White House Director of Communications
Succeeded by
Jennifer Palmieri
Preceded by
David Plouffe
Senior Advisor to the President
Succeeded by
Shailagh Murray