Daniel Pfeiffer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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 Communications Director
In office
November 30, 2009 – January 25, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Anita Dunn (Acting)
Succeeded by Jennifer Palmieri
Personal details
Born Howard Daniel Pfeiffer
(1975-12-24) December 24, 1975 (age 42)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sarah Feinberg (2006–2011)
Howli Pfeiffer (2016–present)
Education Georgetown University (BA)

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

Pfeiffer was a long-time aide to 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 Pod Save America podcast with Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor.[3][4] In 2015, Pfeiffer joined CNN as a political contributor.[5]

Early life and career[edit]

Pfeiffer was born in Wilmington, Delaware,[6] the son of Vivian Lear (née Strange), a learning specialist, and Gary Malick Pfeiffer, a financial officer for DuPont.[7][8] 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 Al Gore's 2000 campaign for the Presidency.[citation needed]

Following 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.[9] He served briefly as communications director for Evan Bayh's presidential exploratory committee.[citation needed]

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.[10] 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. He left the White House on March 6th 2015.[11]

Other work[edit]

Pfeiffer currently serves on the Board of Advisors of Let America Vote, a voting rights organization founded by fellow Crooked Media host Jason Kander.[12]

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 senior advisor and spokeswoman for Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.[7] In 2011, Pfeiffer and Feinberg separated, and later divorced.[13]

In 2016, Pfeiffer married Howli Ledbetter, former director of message planning in the White House.[14][15]

Public criticism[edit]

Pfeiffer garnered generally bad press for his unsympathetic and wonkish November 2013 response to a California woman with advanced gall bladder cancer who published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal[16] describing the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also called "ACA" or Obamacare) on her treatment. Edie Littlefield Sundby wrote that she would "be forced to choose between the state government health exchange - which means certain doctors won't be covered - or try to cover up to 50% of the medical expenses on her own since her insurance company, UnitedHealthcare, will not participate in California's insurance exchange".[17]

Pfeiffer then replied via Twitter that the woman's dilemma lay "at the feet of Sundby's insurance company for dropping the ball", not ACA regulations. He was backed up by progressive activist group Think Progress on Twitter.[18] More than 2500 comments appeared within just a few days.[19][20][21]


  1. ^ "Biography: Howard Daniel Pfeiffer". LegiStorm. Retrieved January 27, 2014.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Pfeiffer takes over for Dunn". Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  3. ^ Rutenberg, Jim. "Opposition and a Shave: Former Obama Aides Counter Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Pod Save America". Crooked Media. January 9, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  5. ^ Eric Bradner (June 1, 2015). "Dan Pfeiffer joins CNN as contributor". CNN Politics. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ Rutenberg, Jim. "Times Topics, People". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  7. ^ a b "Sarah Feinberg, H. Daniel Pfeiffer". The New York Times. 2006-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  8. ^ "Who's who in Finance and Industry". google.ca. Retrieved September 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ Hulse, Carl (2006-05-31). "A Build-a-Protest Approach to Immigration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  10. ^ "Dan Pfeiffer: The Next White House Communications Boss". Time. 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  11. ^ "Delaware's Dan Pfeiffer: From White House to podcaster". The News Journal. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  12. ^ "Advisors". Let America Vote. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  13. ^ Dan Pfeiffer and Sarah Feinberg separate", Washington Post; accessed November 18, 2016.
  14. ^ "Former White House aide Dan Pfeiffer engaged to another Obama alum, Howli Ledbetter". The Washington Post. May 18, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Howli Pfeiffer profile". Wearerally.com. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  16. ^ Sundby, Edie Littlefield (2013-11-03). "A Stage-4 Gallblader Cancer Survivor Says: I Am One of ObamaCare's Losers". Wsj.com. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  17. ^ "Obama advisor draws fire for jab at Edie Littlefield Sundby's insurer UnitedHealthcare", nydailynews.com, November 5, 2013; accessed November 18, 2016.
  18. ^ "The Real Reason That The Cancer Patient Writing In Today's Wall Street Journal Lost Her Insurance". Thinkprogress.org. Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "Jason Goldman on Twitter: "The Real Reason That The Cancer Patient Writing In Today's Wall Street Journal Lost Her Insurance"". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  20. ^ "Good News! Obamacare Will Not Kill Cancer Patient Who Wrote The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed". Mediaite.com. 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  21. ^ Martosko, David. "Bullyboy White House aide sparks outrage by 'smearing' terminal cancer patient who dared speak out against Obamacare". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 

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
With: Brian Deese
Valerie Jarrett
Succeeded by
Shailagh Murray