David Urban

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David Urban
David Urban.png
Chair of the American Battle Monuments Commission
In office
July 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMerrill McPeak
Succeeded byVacant
Personal details
David John Urban[1]

1963/1964 (age 57–58)[2]
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
University of Pennsylvania
Temple University (JD)

David Urban (born c. 1964) is an American lobbyist, political operative and political commentator for CNN, and Executive Vice President for North American corporate affairs at ByteDance. He served as a senior advisor to the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign and helped orchestrate the 2016 Republican National Convention in a successful effort to win Pennsylvania.[3][4][5][6] In May 2018, he was appointed by President Trump to the board of American Battle Monuments Commission, and in July 2018 he was elevated by Trump to be Chairman of ABMC.[7] In August 2019, President Trump appointed Urban to the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy.[1][8][9] A trusted confidant of President Trump, he was served on Trump’s 2020 Advisory Committee.[10]

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

A native of Aliquippa, Beaver County, Pennsylvania,[4][2] Urban was recruited to play football at Harvard University, but opted to instead attend the United States Military Academy at West Point,[11][6] where he was featured in the Black Knight's 1982 media guide.[11] An injury cut short his football career,[11] and he graduated in 1986 with a B.S..[5] Urban later simultaneously attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned an M.P.A., and Temple University School of Law, where he received a J.D..[6][4][11]

Urban served as an artillery officer in the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division,[3] from 1986 to 1991. While serving in the Persian Gulf, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement during combat operations in Operation Desert Storm.[3][5][2]


Early career[edit]

Urban worked with the Philadelphia-based law firm of Ballard Spahr as a public finance attorney from 1994 to 1997,[5][6] when he became chief of staff to Senator Arlen Specter.[3][6]

In 2002 Urban became a partner at the American Continental Group (ACG), where he now serves as President.[12] ACG is a Washington-based lobbying firm that has worked with companies such as Comcast, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Raytheon. He was recognized on The Hill's "Top Lobbyists" list in 2015,[13] 2016,[14] 2017,[15] and 2019.[16]

Political career[edit]

In April 2016, Urban joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign as senior advisor.[17] He was the deputy director of caucus operations and senior member on the ground in Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention, spending over two months on that effort, and working to quell disruption by "Never Trump" delegates from the campaigns of other candidates.[3] Urban developed a relationship of frequent cell phone contact with Trump.[2] In November 2016, Urban helped gain the first presidential Republican win for Pennsylvania in over 28 years, and it was initially reported that he was being considered as the next chair of the Republican National Committee,[18] or White House Deputy Chief of Staff. The potential appointment was supported by former Republican Senator Rick Santorum and former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell.[19] It has further been reported that Urban has been considered for several positions in the Trump Administration, including Chair of the Republican National Committee, White House Deputy Chief of Staff,[19][18] White House Chief of Staff,[4][12][20] and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.[21]

As a political commentator for CNN,[22] Urban has commented on matters such as the House passage of the AHCA,[23] Trump's April 2017 National Rifle Association speech,[24] and Trump's 100 day mark.[25] As of May 2017, Urban was involved in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign of businessman and fellow West Point graduate Paul Mango.[2] It was frequently reported that Trump was considering Urban to replace Reince Priebus, and later John Kelly, as White House Chief of Staff.[26][4][20][27]

In May 2018, he was appointed by President Trump to the board of the American Battle Monuments Commission, and in July 2018, was elevated by Trump to be Chairman of that Commission.[7] In August 2019, Trump appointed Urban to the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy.[1][8][9] In 2020, Urban's firm represented businesses including Walgreens and Ultimate Fighting Championship in lobbying with respect to COVID-19-related issues.[28]

Other activities[edit]

Urban was an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management.[5] As of 2021 Urban is a member of the board of directors of the Museum of the American Revolution,[29] and the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund,[30] and a co-owner of PoliticsPA.[31] He serves on the Board of Directors of Virtu Financial,[32] and FSD Pharma.[33] In 2020, he became the Executive Vice President for North American corporate affairs at ByteDance.[34]


  1. ^ a b c "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts". whitehouse.gov. July 31, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019 – via National Archives.
  2. ^ a b c d e Potter, Chris (May 31, 2017). "Pa. native could play role in reorganized White House". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Meet Pa.'s David Urban, Trump tactician and 'traffic controller' at RNC". The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e Janesch, Sam (June 5, 2017). "Reports: Pennsylvania native David Urban could be President Trump's next chief of staff". Lancaster Online.
  5. ^ a b c d e "David Urban | ACG: American Continental Group". acg-consultants.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Burdo, Alison (November 11, 2016). "Trump's Pennsylvania campaign head: Here's how the Republican won the state". Philadelphia Business Journal.
  7. ^ a b "American Battle Monuments Commission: The Commission". July 21, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Trump Appoints Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer To Naval Academy Visitors' Board". CBS Baltimore. July 31, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Lt. Gen. Swan to Join West Point Board of Visitors". Association of the United States Army. August 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Trump campaign accuses Colorado congressman on impeachment". Denver Post. December 8, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d Billman, Jeff (January 28, 2011). "David Urban: The Patriot". Philadelphia.
  12. ^ a b "Rumors grow that Trump's Pa. campaign head will join White House". Philadelphia Business Journal. May 30, 2017.
  13. ^ Dickson, Rebecca (October 29, 2015). "Top Lobbyists 2015: Hired Guns". The Hill.
  14. ^ Dickson, Rebecca (October 26, 2016). "Top Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns". The Hill.
  15. ^ Ackil, Josh; Tanielian, Matt (November 2, 2017). "Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns". The Hill.
  16. ^ Kingston, Jack; Waxman, Henry; Hunt, Carrie (December 12, 2019). "The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2019". The Hill.
  17. ^ "Prominent GOP lobbyist joins Trump forces in Pennsylvania". Politico.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Dana Bash, Mark Preston and Daniella Diaz. "Pennsylvania political operative to be considered as RNC chair, sources say". CNN. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Burdo, Alison (November 16, 2016). "What's next for Trump's Pa. campaign leader? West Wing, RNC chair rumors surface". Philadelphia Business Journal.
  20. ^ a b Riotta, Chris (July 5, 2017). "Who will Trump fire next? His July 4 White House shake-up deadline has passed". Newsweek.
  21. ^ "Trump's top choice to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia is lobbyist Dave Urban". CBS News. August 25, 2017.
  22. ^ DePaolo, Joe (June 8, 2017). "'I Don't Wanna Be Jeff Lord Redux': Trump Surrogate Has Moment Of Self-Awareness on CNN". www.mediaite.com.
  23. ^ "CNN.com - Transcripts". www.cnn.com.
  24. ^ "CNN.com - Transcripts". www.cnn.com.
  25. ^ "CNN.com - Transcripts". www.cnn.com.
  26. ^ Palmeri, Tara (June 11, 2017). "Trump gives Priebus until July 4th to clean up White House".
  27. ^ Sherman, Gabriel (April 27, 2018). "Will Trump Move Chief of Staff John Kelly to Veterans Affairs?". Vanity Fair.
  28. ^ "Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid". AP NEWS. July 6, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  29. ^ Board of Directors profile of David Urban, Museum of the American Revolution, retrieved June 8, 2017.
  30. ^ Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund Board of Directors, retrieved June 8, 2017.
  31. ^ "Philly Mag Profiles PA Powerhouse Lobbyist David Urban". www.politicspa.com. January 28, 2011.
  32. ^ "Virtu Financial, Inc. Appoints David Urban to Board of Directors". ir.virtu.com.
  33. ^ "David Urban | FSD Pharma".
  34. ^ Palmer, Ann. "POLITICO Playbook: Do we have to do that two more times?". Politico. Retrieved June 15, 2021.

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