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Issue Communications

The world's got issues. We find answers.

Issue Communications

Issue Communications

Our clients want to make the world better. That takes a strategy.

We’ve been helping our clients get vaccines to kids, make health care affordable for hardworking families, and get drivers safely to their destination since before “Millennial” was a generation. We do it by injecting a new perspective into an old debate, stripping the issue down to its raw, animating force. Then we take it to Facebook pages, living rooms, international forums, Tumblr pages, churches, and the halls of power. We helped the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids turn a cigarette tax into a story about lives saved, worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to bring health care coverage to 11 million kids, and brought the issue of adoption front and center for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Issue Communications Team

Our TeamExperienced and driven for change

Hussain Aleaziz

Jen Farber

Jen Farber

Vice President / issue-communications

Jen is a senior global health strategist. With nearly 15 years of communications experience, she leads integrated campaigns addressing some of the most pressing global health issues. Jen has successfully managed projects ranging from wide-reaching campaigns to improve maternal, newborn and child survival to more focused efforts on malaria and vaccine-preventable diseases like pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhea. She has also led initiatives around safe water and sanitation, the health care supply chain and health data.

Through her work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Rotavirus Organization of Technical Advisors (ROTA) Council; PATH and university-affiliated institutes, Jen leads strategic planning and creates compelling content that generates buzz, earns media coverage and reaches the right people at the right time, getting results in the U.S. and around the world. Having contributed to pivotal series launches for The Lancet, she excels at translating scientific data into easy-to-understand, actionable content. Jen also brings a political campaign mindset to all of her projects, having worked on U.S. presidential and statewide races before joining GMMB’s Global Health team.

J. Toscano

J. Toscano

Partner, Media Strategist / issue-communications

J. is an experienced media strategist whose communication strategies tiptoe outside traditional bounds to engage increasingly skeptical audiences. His creative, original ads find and express the authentic voices of the candidates he is helping elect, and trigger emotions that cause target audiences to think or behave differently.

At GMMB, he helped elect officeholders at all levels, including Rep. Donna Edwards (MD), Rep. Steven Horsford (NV), Sen. Max Baucus (MT), County Exec Rushern Baker (MD), Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM) on behalf of League of Conservation Voters, Sen. Gary Peters (MI) on behalf of NextGen Climate Action, and Reps. Scott Peters and Raul Ruiz (CA) on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

J. designs and runs integrated campaigns that socialize ideas, change minds, engage voters and activate advocates, particularly in the environmental arena. He’s applied behavioral science models to create new social norms for energy efficiency and daily physical activity. Clients include the American Lung Association, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, NRDC, American Civil Liberties Union, Ploughshares Fund, and NY State PSC.

J. earned his Washington stripes as communications director for the House Democratic Caucus under Rep. Steny Hoyer and as a Clinton administration presidential appointee, as public affairs director for AmeriCorps.

 

Guillermo Meneses

Guillermo Meneses

Vice President / issue-communications

Guillermo is a veteran communications strategist with a profound knowledge of the ways media and advocacy can intersect for the common good. He specializes in designing and implementing powerful media campaigns that simplify complex issues and influence public opinion. He advises corporations and nonprofit organizations on all aspects of effective engagement with news media influentials and key policy figures.

As a lead media strategist for GMMB’s global health and development team, Guillermo has garnered high-profile national placements for clients with major global news organizations such as AFP, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC, Bloomberg, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, NPR, Newsweek, The New York Times, Reuters, Voice of America, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and all of the U.S.-based broadcast and cable news networks.

Dulari Gandhi

Jaime Zapata

Jaime Zapata

Partner / issue-communications

Whether it’s casting a video to engage Mexican-American audiences in southern California or developing content that conveys complex information to D.C. opinion leaders, Jaime always aims for exact. A multi-talented communications guru with expertise in areas as diverse as labor, small business, aerospace and education, Jaime combines the grit of a Bronx-raised Colombian road cyclist with the savvy and eloquence of a Georgetown-trained Washingtonian.

Jaime began his career on Capitol Hill and has more than 20 years of policy and communications experience. He thrives on finding untapped opportunities, dives deep into issue areas, helps clients see around corners, and ensures every strategy is designed and implemented correctly from the start.

Jaime has managed major advertising and positioning accounts for corporations that include United Technologies, Sikorsky Aircraft, Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney. He is on the board of Operation Homefront and leads GMMB teams for a broad spectrum of nonprofit clients including Scholarship America, the National Council of La Raza, the Opportunity Finance Network, and the Council of the Great City Schools. He is also an advisor on teams for the American Beverage Association, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AFSCME and a host of political clients.

Daren Briscoe

Daren Briscoe

Senior Vice President / issue-communications

Daren is a strategy and content development specialist with more than 15 years’ experience in journalism, political and policy communications. His experience has afforded him a 360-degree perspective on the overlap and intersections between politics, policy and the lives of everyday people. That perspective has been invaluable in Daren’s leadership of accounts at GMMB, including the Opportunity Finance Network, the Council of the Great City Schools and Howard University. He has also led GMMB’s messaging efforts on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Prior to GMMB, Daren worked on Pulitzer Prize winning investigative stories at the Los Angeles Times, and covered national news for Newsweek magazine. He helped reposition the nation’s approach to drug policy under the Obama Administration, through strategic messaging campaigns and speechwriting as deputy assistant director for public affairs at the White House Drug Policy Office. And he was the day-to-day communications lead and liaison to the national press corps while serving as press secretary and spokesman for U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Michelle Austin

Michelle Austin

Senior Vice President / issue-communications

Michelle digs in and dives deep on complex issues and campaigns. With more than 15 years of experience, she revels in working on behalf of clients that tap into her inner education wonk, passion for storytelling and appreciation of smart strategy. She supported the move to consistent academic standards and improved assessments and created brand identities and suites of materials for a range of clients. Michelle is proud to have worked on behalf the Council of Chief State School Officers, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, National Council of La Raza, College of the Holy Cross, Teach For America and others.

Before joining GMMB, Michelle provided public and government relations services for nonprofit education and social policy organizations with a strong emphasis in secondary education. Michelle has her roots in New Mexico, where she grew up and worked for former Senator Jeff Bingaman.

Riley Greene

Molly O’Brien

Molly O’Brien

Vice President / issue-communications

Molly is an expert in communications strategy and event planning, with a keen understanding and appreciation of the details. In her 14-year tenure at GMMB, she has led projects across a wide range of domestic and global issues, including reproductive health, maternal and newborn health, child nutrition, genocide, education and renewable energy.

Molly’s across-the-board expertise in large-scale project management, event planning, strategy, messaging and content development makes her an integral leader on GMMB’s global health team. In this role she developed and executed events and conferences in Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Washington, D.C.

Delacey Skinner

Delacey Skinner

Senior Vice President & Managing Director / issue-communications

Delacey’s expertise lies in developing strategies for hard-to-win campaigns, messages for complex and challenging issues, and advertising that moves target audiences through emotional engagement.

Delacey worked with NextGen Climate Action Committee to help secure Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory in Virginia. She also led GMMB’s work for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s successful independent expenditures in North Dakota (Heidi Heitkamp) and Virginia (Tim Kaine) and for the League of Conservation Voters’ successful independent expenditures in Montana (Jon Tester) and New Mexico (Martin Heinrich). She also brought her strategic and creative expertise to GMMB clients like National Women’s Law Center, Sierra Club, Visa and CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Before GMMB, Delacey served as communications director for Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for three years, having served as press secretary for his successful 2005 campaign. In 2004, she was deputy campaign manager and communications director for America Coming Together’s New Hampshire office, and helped New Hampshire become the only red-to-blue state in the 2004 presidential election.

Delacey’s creative work has drawn the attention of the political and issue advertising community, receiving Reed and Pollie Awards and recognition as part of the “Best of the Best” at the 2012 American Association of Political Consultants Conference.

 

Jacquie Lawing Ebert

Jacquie Lawing Ebert

Partner / issue-communications

Jacquie develops and executes research-based strategies that ensure powerful change takes hold and is sustainable in our nation’s communities. She has spearheaded much of GMMB’s work to improve the nation’s education system so all young people can succeed.

Years of experience working in Congress, on the 1992 Presidential campaign and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development give her a deep understanding of the nexus of politics, policy, and advocacy.

Whether it’s developing and executing a strategy to ensure bipartisan support for and strong implementation of high standards for advocacy organizations, working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to elevate the perspectives of critical stakeholders like students and teachers through insightful and fresh research, or advising clients on Personalized Learning communications, Jacquie will not stop until the job is done.

 

Specialties

The world’s issues don’t fit into a single box. Neither do we. After more than three decades crafting campaigns as diverse as the people we serve, we’ve built a depth and breadth of expertise you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. We cover a range of issue areas, from education to the environment to social justice. We work on empowering consumers across the street, protecting clean air across the country, and advocating for women and girls across the world. If something keeps you up at night, get in touch. Because it probably keeps us up, too.

Brand Strategy

We’re a mission-driven agency, and we believe that the strongest brands are mission-driven too. Whether you need to refresh your...

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Advertising

Your message won’t do much work for you if it goes to the wrong place. We help put your message in front of the people who need to see...

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Digital

In a digital world, we know how important it is to have the right online presence. We deploy our digital strategists to create a smart...

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Creative Content

We believe a good strategy goes hand-in-hand with compelling creative. In an increasingly cluttered communications environment, you can say...

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Movement Building

A message can be powerful; a movement can’t be ignored. Sometimes you need to take your cause directly to the streets or the halls of...

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Public Relations

We’ve been crafting, refining, and delivering targeted messages from the day we opened our doors. Whether you have a fully developed...

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If you’ve found your purpose, we’ll find your brand.

We’re a mission-driven agency, and we believe that the strongest brands are mission-driven too. Whether you need to refresh your decades-old image for the modern day, or you’re just starting off on your journey toward impact, we can help you uncover truths about yourself that will point you in the right direction. We take you through an intensive branding process that begins with a lot of questions designed to help us understand who you really are. We evaluate your brand’s culture, consumer, category, and cause, and develop a unique positioning statement that becomes the basis of your brand story and message architecture. And we help you roll out and manage your brand so you’re communicating who you are in everything you do.

We help you be in the right place at the right time.

Your message won’t do much work for you if it goes to the wrong place. We help put your message in front of the people who need to see it, no matter where they spend their time. Our award-winning media planners work hand-in-hand with our strategists and creative teams to segment and analyze target audiences, place media in outlets that give you the most bang for your buck, and constantly monitor and optimize to direct your spend into the highest-performing placements. We’ve spent a long time building deep relationships with outlets all across the country, and we’ve done everything from Capitol Hill print ads to cutting-edge homepage takeovers to TV spots during the Super Bowl. Wherever you need to be, we’ll get you there.

We make 1s and 0s work for you.

In a digital world, we know how important it is to have the right online presence. We deploy our digital strategists to create a smart strategy, from audience targeting to creative content to message delivery and amplification. And we help you execute this strategy, with engaging design and development and a thoughtful management of the community. Since the Internet is a two-way street—and sometimes a multilane highway—our secret sauce is creating conversations, nurturing a dynamic relationship with your biggest potential advocates by listening as much as we talk.

As important as what you say is how you say it.

We believe a good strategy goes hand-in-hand with compelling creative. In an increasingly cluttered communications environment, you can say something important, and you can say it loudly, but you still might not be heard. From platform development to copy and script writing, design, and production, we craft creative that cuts through. We start with a brief that captures audience insights and gets to the heart of your message, and our in-house creative experts tease out a fresh way to tell your story that won’t get lost in the fray.

Sometimes more is more.

A message can be powerful; a movement can’t be ignored. Sometimes you need to take your cause directly to the streets or the halls of power. Sometimes, to a team of likeminded allies, or unlikely bedfellows. We’re experts at building movements by engaging grassroots supporters, coalitions, partners, policymakers, and donors. We connect your cause to the causes of those who can act as your most powerful validators, supporters, or collaborators, finding through-lines and commonalities to turn a single call-to-action into a chorus.

We get your message out, no matter what stage it’s in.

We’ve been crafting, refining, and delivering targeted messages from the day we opened our doors. Whether you have a fully developed platform and just need a little push getting the right people’s attention, or you’re starting from scratch with nothing but a good idea and a great cause, we can help. We dig deep into target audiences to develop insights that will make your message resonate. We hone that message and train you to develop the tools you need to deliver it, whether through a speech, an event, or a TV interview. And we use our unparalleled expertise and deep relationships with the media to make sure you have a megaphone pointed directly where it needs to be.

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