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|Occupation||Deputy National Security Advisory for Strategic Communication and Global Outreach National Security Council
Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States
Mark Pfeifle (March 30, 1972) was a top national security advisor and communicator for President George W. Bush. Pfeifle served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and global outreach at the White House from 2007 to 2009. Pfeifle is the founder and president of Off the Record Strategies, a public relations and strategy company, and he is a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Pfeifle was the principal interagency coordinator for national security outreach and communication strategy from 2007 to the end of the George W. Bush administration. Pfeifle led the successful communication effort to promote Bush’s “surge” of U.S. forces into Iraq, including a month-long stint in Baghdad. He worked on international communication initiatives to de-legitimize al Qaeda, to stop Iran from enriching uranium, to denuclearize North Korea, to achieve fair and free trade agreements and to advocate the causes of freedom, liberty and human rights to those suffering under brutal dictatorships.
On January 13, 2009, Fort Leavenworth Commander and former Iraq War spokesman and then-Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell awarded Pfeifle the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award for “dramatically improved communication planning and strategies...in support of the Global War on Terror.”
In July 2009, Pfeifle created a stir in the online and tech community when he called for Twitter to be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize for its assistance in helping the people of Iran. Pfeifle wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that "When traditional journalists were forced to leave the country, Twitter became a window for the world to view hope, heroism, and horror. It became the assignment desk, the reporter, and the producer. And, because of this, Twitter and its creators are worthy of being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize." 
From 1997 to 2001, Pfeifle helped lay the groundwork to elect Bush, by serving as deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee. From 2001 to 2004, as communication director and press secretary for Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Pfeifle created messages to pass energy and conservation legislation and the administration’s Healthy Forest Initiative. While at Interior, his official duties were quickly turned upside-down, when he experienced the violence of September 11 first-hand as one of the first communication advisors sent to Ground Zero in New York City.
Pfeifle took a second leave from Interior to become communications director for the 2004 Republican National Convention -- an event resulting in an immediate 13-point bounce in public polling for the president. The convention produced 3400 TV, print, radio and Internet interviews. The event took the Internet by storm, with a powerful online operation that attracted more than 40 million web visitors and the first-ever “Bloggers’ Corner” for web journalists. Recognizing the importance of Hispanic outreach, he started the first-ever daily Spanish-language press briefings at a national convention.
In 2005, Pfeifle directed the Social Security Information Center at the U.S. Department of Treasury, leading the communication effort for the president’s arduous attempt to fix the Social Security system. Later that year, Pfeifle was assigned to the White House to focus on communication strategy for the Global War on Terror. He also was called shortly after for a short tour as a senior communications advisor for Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
In the spring of 2009, Pfeifle briefly returned to North Dakota to set up a rapid response effort to help citizens during the Red River Valley flooding near Fargo, ND.
Pfeifle grew up in Wishek, North Dakota. His first venture into journalism was at age 10 – authoring a nine-inch story about the local Mayville-Portland, North Dakota, Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball tournament. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in communications and was sports editor of the school’s newspaper.
His first professional work was as the manager of a tiny radio station, KDRQ Radio AM 1330, in Wishek. Shortly after he became the marketing and advertising director of the Grand Forks Air Force Base newspaper and was a stringer and freelancer for The Associated Press and USA Today.
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- Allen, Mike. "POOL REPORT, FROM THE THIRD FLOOR OF THE EEOB YESTERDAY", “The POLITICO Playbook”, January 14, 2009
- Pfeifle, Mark. "A Nobel Peace Prize for Twitter?", Christian Science Monitor, July 6, 2009.
- Duggan, Brian. "Ending 8 years of working for Bush", The Bismarck Tribune, January 16, 2009.
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- "WIU Professor Chosen to Debate at Oxford", Canton Daily Ledger, July 28, 2012.
- Northwestern Kellogg School of Management’s annual Tech Conference, Evanston, Ill. "Social Media meets Social Change: The Retweet Revolution?", “Kellogg Tech Conference”, April 9, 2011