Johnny DeStefano

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Johnny DeStefano
Counselor to the President
In office
February 9, 2018 – May 24, 2019
Served alongside Kellyanne Conway
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byAdditional office established
Succeeded byDerek Lyons
Director of the Office of Public Liaison
In office
September 25, 2017 – March 18, 2018
Acting: September 25, 2017 – February 9, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byGeorge Sifakis
Succeeded byJustin R. Clark
Personal details
Born1979 (age 43–44)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationSaint Louis University (BA)

Johnny DeStefano (born 1979) is an American political advisor who served as Assistant to President Donald Trump and Counselor to the President from 2017 to May 2019. He previously oversaw the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, White House Presidential Personnel Office, Office of Political Affairs, and Office of Public Liaison. DeStefano entered the Trump administration as Director of Presidential Personnel.[1] After leaving the White House, DeStefano was appointed an adviser to the e-cigarette company Juul.[2][3]


Following his graduation, DeStefano worked for the House Republican Conference as a liaison to outside conservative groups. In 2006, he ran the reelection campaign of Ohio Representative Deborah Pryce.[4]

Prior to his White House positions, DeStefano worked for Ohio Republican Congressman John Boehner. From 2007 to 2011, he was Boehner's political director. From 2011 to 2013, when Boehner was Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, DeStefano served as Boehner's senior advisor. DeStefano also worked with the Republican National Committee building "a 2016 voter file and political database."[5]

Data Trust[edit]

In July 2013, DeStefano was named president of Data Trust,[6] a private company that is the primary handler of voter files for the Republican National Committee.[7]

Trump administration[edit]

On January 4, 2017, DeStefano was named Director of Presidential Personnel in the Trump administration.[8]

On the evening of January 30, 2017, DeStefano wrote a letter to Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informing her that "the president [had] removed [her] from the office of Deputy Attorney General of the United States." Yates' dismissal followed her decision to inform the United States Department of Justice that she did not see defending Trump's executive order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" as consistent with her responsibilities.[9]

In May 2019, The Washington Post reported that DeStefano was leaving the administration on May 24 and intended to advise companies including Juul, an e-cigarette company with substantial business before the Food and Drug Administration.[10] He was also appointed to the Fulbright Program's Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in 2019,[11] and has served as a director for the National Park Foundation.[12] DeStefano founded consulting group Utility Strategic Advisors and registered in 2020 as a lobbyist in Missouri.[13]


  1. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Appointments for the Executive Office of the President". Retrieved 9 February 2018 – via National Archives.
  2. ^ Anapol, Avery (May 21, 2019). "Trump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul". The Hill. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  3. ^ LaVito, Angelica (October 1, 2019). "Juul hires 'political dark arts' firm led by ex-Clinton campaign director in its fight for survival". CNBC. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Rein, Lisa (April 19, 2017). "This Beltway insider is in charge of hiring for the Trump administration. It's taking a while". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ Simendinger, Alexis (January 5, 2017). "Trump Plucks Political Pros for White House Staff". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  6. ^ Drucker, David M. (July 29, 2013). "Data Trust hires ex-Boehner aide Johnny DeStefano to run GOP technology effort". Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Kaye, Kate (April 15, 2016). "RNC's Voter Data Provider Teams Up With Google, Facebook and Other Ad Firms". Advertising Age. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Nussbaum, Matthew (4 January 2017). "Trump announces 11 more White House hires". Politico. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  9. ^ Apuzzo, Michael D. Shear, Mark Landler, Matt; Lichtblau, Eric (30 January 2017). "Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him". The New York Times.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Dawsey, Josh; Sonmez, Felicia (May 21, 2019). "Long-serving Trump aide DeStefano to depart White House". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "John DeStefano". U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  12. ^ "John DeStefano". National Park Foundation. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  13. ^ "DeStefano Registers". MOScout. January 6, 2020. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
Political offices
Preceded by Director of the Office of Public Liaison
Succeeded by