Richard Socarides

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Richard Socarides
Born (1954-11-08) November 8, 1954 (age 63)
Residence New York City

Antioch College (BA)

Hofstra University (JD)
Occupation Public relations, political commentator, writer, strategist
Organization Gerson Lehrman Group
Parent(s) Charles Socarides

Richard Socarides (born November 8, 1954) is head of global corporate communications and government affairs for Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG).[1] Previously, he led communications at New Line Cinema and has held other senior media jobs at Time Warner, AOL and in government and politics. He is also an American Democratic political strategist, writer for The New Yorker,[2] TV commentator and a New York attorney. He was a White House adviser under United States President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1999 in a variety of senior positions, including as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser for Public Liaison. He worked on legal, policy and political issues and served as principal adviser to Clinton on gay and lesbian civil rights issues. Under Clinton, he was chief operating officer of the 50th Anniversary Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Socarides also worked as special assistant to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Socarides has written extensively on political and legal topics in his regular column in The New Yorker, as well as for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico. He is a frequent commentator on television.

Socarides is a Trustee of the State University of New York (SUNY), appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and of Antioch College, which he attended.

Socarides, who is openly gay,[3] was the founding president of Equality Matters in 2011. He is the son of Charles Socarides (1922–2005), a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who was outspoken critic of the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. In 1992 the elder Socarides co-founded NARTH, in response to the American Psychoanalytic Association's 1992 decision to change its position on homosexuality.


Socarides has held senior positions in the media and entertainment sector and in government and law – as a media relations and communications executive, as a presidential adviser at the White House and as a partner in a New York City law firm.

Legal career[edit]

From 1984 to 1990, Socarides was an associate, then a partner, at the New York law firm of Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent & Sheinfeld. He graduated from Hofstra University School of Law and Antioch College. Socarides has served on a wide variety of non-profit boards, including those of organizations devoted to civil rights, historic preservation and urban renewal, music and philanthropy.

Socarides served as Of Counsel to the New York law firm of Brady Klein & Weissman, from 2009 to 2013.

Political career[edit]

Socarides served on national political campaigns, as Deputy Director for Public Liaison for Clinton/Gore '96 and as Political Director and Senior Advisor for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin in 1991–92. He also served on Tom Harkin's U.S. Senate staff.

From 1993 to 1999, Socarides worked as a White House advisor in a variety of senior positions. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Public Liaison and also as chief operating officer of the 50th Anniversary Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He coordinated communications and event strategy, policy and community outreach relating to key initiatives and represented the President and articulated administration policy in public appearances.

Corporate career[edit]

In 2000, Socarides was Senior Vice President at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery Strategic Communications, a New York consulting firm. He provided media relations, branding, marketing, public policy and crisis management advice to domestic and international Fortune 100 companies, principally in the media and entertainment sectors, including American Online, NBC and Bertelsmann, among others.

Socarides served as Vice President for Corporate Relations at AOL Time Warner (now Time Warner), where he was a senior member of the executive team responsible for planning and positioning the company's corporate social responsibility strategy and its community outreach program. He also managed media relations and internal communications in support of these initiatives. During this same period, Socarides also served as Vice President of the AOL Time Warner Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company, in which capacity he was responsible for building a brand franchise around the company's philanthropic initiatives and helping to oversee an annual budget of $20 million in corporate giving.

As Senior Vice President at New Line Cinema and as head of its corporate communications department, Socarides was responsible for managing corporate press and media relations, as well as communications strategy and reputation management for the company and its senior executives. He was a member of the team that developed the Academy Award campaign for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It won 11 Oscars, tying the record for most ever, including Best Picture.

Socarides was named Head of Public Affairs for Gerson Lehrman Group in August 2013.

Media portrayal[edit]

A portion of Socarides' time in the Clinton Administration was portrayed by his brother, Charles Socarides, in the 2017 American Broadcasting Company docudrama miniseries When We Rise.[4][5][6]

Articles and opinion pieces[edit]


Specific references
  1. ^ "GLG's Richard Socarides Believes In The Power Of Learning". CMO. Retrieved October 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Contributors". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 13, 2017. 
  3. ^ Crea, Joe (October 15, 2004), "Conservative parent adjust to gay kids", Washington Blade, retrieved 2007-10-30 
  4. ^ "When We Rise (TV Mini-Series 2017–) – IMDb". IMDB. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  5. ^ Stewart, Zachary (February 27, 2017). "Charles Socarides, Son of an Anti-Gay Psychiatrist, Now Plays His Gay Brother on TV". Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ Socarides, Richard (March 2, 2017). "On ABC News Nightline last night with my brother..." Richard Socarides. Retrieved March 7, 2017. On ABC News Nightline last night with my brother @charlessocarides talking about tonight's episode of When We Rise, in which he plays me. 
Other sources
  • Bull, Chris (July 11, 1999), "His Public Domain, His Private Pain," Washington Post Magazine, pp. 18 et seq.

External links[edit]