Stephanie Cutter

Fall 2009

Stephanie Cutter’s political and communications experience spans two decades in public service.  From the West Wing, to the campaign trail, to the halls of Congress, Cutter has spun political issues and crafted communications strategies for the nation’s leading political figures and campaigns

Cutter recently served as Advisor to President Barack Obama.  Previously she was Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Treasury, advising him on political and communications strategies.
Prior to the Obama Administration, Cutter was the Chief Spokesperson for the Obama-Biden Transition, developing message and communications strategies for the roll-out of the new Administration’s policies and cabinet.   She was Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff on the Obama for America Campaign, and also held the title of senior adviser in charge of developing and managing a nationwide surrogates program.

Before joining the campaign, Cutter ran The Cutter Media Group, LLC, a strategic communications firm that specializes in designing and implementing public affairs and crisis communications strategies, including public affairs, national and grassroots coalition building, message development, and other strategic communications, for corporations, political and issue-based campaigns, trade associations and non-profit organizations.  Since its launch in March 2006, CMG has developed and implemented research-based messaging, communications and outreach plans for several Fortune 500 companies; Senators, Governors, candidates, AARP, The ONE Campaign, and several national coalitions.

From January 2005-March 2006, Cutter was a senior advisor to then Minority Leader Harry Reid and Democratic Senator Edward M.  Kennedy.  In this dual role, Cutter developed a message and communications strategy for Senate Democratic leadership and managed caucus-wide strategic campaigns in lead up to 2006 elections.  Cutter also created and implemented caucus message strategy for State of the Union, the FY 2006 budget and consideration of the President’s Supreme Court nominees, and helped devise a rapid response system for Members of Congress, national Democrats and advocacy groups to promote message unity in the fight to regain majority in Congress.

In fall of 2003 – just months before the Iowa Caucuses -- the John Kerry for President Campaign brought in Cutter to serve as a National Spokesperson and to develop a communications plan to reposition Kerry for victory.  After the campaign’s come-from-behind upset, Cutter assumed the position of the Communications Director for the Kerry-Edwards 2004 presidential campaign.  Cutter orchestrated Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards’ roll-out and the 2004 Democratic National Convention.  Additionally, Cutter managed the spin for Senator Kerry’s three winning Presidential debates.  On the road with the Presidential traveling party, Cutter ran the communications team and made rapid strategic decisions for the candidate.  She also represented the campaign on national television programs and participated in several debates against representatives of the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Before joining the Kerry campaign, Cutter was a senior communications advisor to Senator Edward M.  Kennedy.  From 1994-2001, Cutter held various positions in the Clinton Administration, including White House Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Assistant to the President.   At the White House, Cutter managed the President’s communications calendar, speechwriting, research, message and web-based activities. 

A nationally recognized strategist, Cutter has been a featured speaker at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Smith College, American University, the University of Pennsylvania and dozens of political, corporate and media conferences. Cutter was recently named by the Boston Globe as one of the “Top 25 New Englanders to Watch,” and currently serves as one of National Journal magazine’s 100 “political insiders” surveyed weekly on newsworthy political and public policy issues.    She frequently appears as a Democratic strategist discussing the issues of the day on CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox News Channel.

Cutter is a graduate of Smith College and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Stephanie Cutter’s Study Group:


Day: Wednesdays
Time: 4:00-5:30PM
Location: Faculty Dining Room (FDR)

Learn more about Stephanie Cutter’s study group \\

Watch Stephanie Cutter’s study group introduction \\

Disclaimer: This information is accurate for the time period that this person was affiliated with the Institute of Politics.