Former Obama Strategist Heads to Hollywood to Set Up Political Consultancy

Bill Burton - H 2015
AP Images

Bill Burton - H 2015

Bill Burton, who served as national press secretary in Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, has been tapped by Democratic firm SKDKnickerbocker to open the group's new Los Angeles office.

Bill Burton, the Democratic strategist who served as national press secretary in Barack Obama's first presidential campaign and later co-founded the Priorities USA super PAC, has decided to hang out his shingle in Los Angeles as a managing director of SKDKnickerbocker's new West Coast office.

With Burton acting as its senior strategist, Priorities USA raised more than $90 million to help re-elect Obama. During the chief executive's first administration, Burton also served as deputy press secretary in the White House and, as part of his role in the super PAC, he worked closely with DreamWorks Animation CEO and mega-Democratic donor Jeffrey Katzenberg, as well as other major Hollywood contributors. Since the campaign's conclusion, Burton has acted as a strategist and political adviser to a variety of Fortune 500 companies and national nonprofits.

"Bill is a smart and savvy strategist who has considerable experience working in the highest levels of government, media and political campaigns," Anita Dunn, managing director of SKDKnickerbocker, said in announcing his new appointment. "He will be a tremendous asset in serving our clients and launching our new California practice."

Burton will be joining a firm whose existing team has substantial connections to California politics, the entertainment industry and high-tech.

SKDKnickerbocker's clients include HBO, the Walt Disney Company and the Motion Picture Association of America, as well as such startups as Cuyana and tech leaders such as Palantir.

Managing director Hilary Rosen spent 17 years as chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America and later worked with clients such as Live Nation, Facebook and Yahoo. The firm's managing director Karen Olick was chief of staff to Sen. Barbara Boxer for more than a decade.