Johnny DeStefano

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Johnny DeStefano
Johnny DeStefano official photo.jpg
Counselor to the President
In office
February 9, 2018 – May 24, 2019
Serving with Kellyanne Conway
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byKellyanne Conway
Succeeded byVacant
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 40–41)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationSaint Louis University (BA)

John DeStefano is an American political advisor who served as Assistant to President Donald Trump and Counselor to the President from 2018 to 2019. He previously oversaw the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Presidential Personnel, Office of Political Affairs, and Office of Public Liaison. DeStefano entered the administration as the Director of Presidential Personnel[1], but left in May 2019 to serve as an adviser to the e-cigarette company Juul.[2]

Prior to his White House position, 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."[3]

Early life and education[edit]

DeStefano grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended Saint Louis University. His uncle helped him to get an internship with Oklahoma Representative J. C. Watts during his junior year. Following his graduation, he 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]

Data Trust[edit]

In July 2013, DeStefano was named president of Data Trust,[5] a private company that is the primary handler of voter files for the Republican National Committee.[6]

Trump administration[edit]

In January 2017, DeStefano was named as director of presidential personnel in the Trump administration.[7]

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 was a result of 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.[8]

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.[9]


  1. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Appointments for the Executive Office of the President". The White House. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  2. ^ Anapol, Avery (2019-05-21). "Trump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul". TheHill. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  3. ^ "Trump Plucks Political Pros for White House Staff - RealClearPolitics".
  4. ^ Rein, Lisa (April 19, 2017). "This Beltway insider is in charge of hiring for the Trump administration. It's taking a while". Washington Post.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Nussbaum, Matthew. "Trump announces 11 more White House hires". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  8. ^ Apuzzo, Michael D. Shear, Mark Landler, Matt; Lichtblau, Eric (30 January 2017). "Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him" – via
  9. ^ Dawsey, Josh; Sonmez, Felicia (May 21, 2019). "Long-serving Trump aide DeStefano to depart White House". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
George Sifakis
Director of the Office of Public Liaison
Succeeded by
Justin R. Clark