- Fall 2011
Thomas A. (Tad) Devine was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1955. He was an All-State basketball player at La Salle Academy, and received his B.A. in American History from Brown University, and his J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law. He is a member of the Bar in Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.Since 1993, Devine has worked as a media consultant—writing, directing and producing television and radio advertising for leading Democratic and Independent candidates in the United States, and providing strategic advice for national campaigns in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. He has produced television advertising in 17 winning US Senate campaigns, and worked as a media consultant and strategist in 10 winning campaigns for President or Prime Minister around the world. Devine has also taught campaign management and strategy courses at Boston University and The George Washington University.
In the United States, Devine has worked at the highest-level in campaigns for President. In 2000, he served as a senior strategist to the Gore/Lieberman campaign and oversaw the day-to-day management of the campaign in the general election. In 2004, Devine served as a senior advisor and strategist to Senator John Kerry’s campaign for President in both the primary and the general election. He frequently represented the campaign on programs like “Meet the Press” and “Face the Nation.”
Devine’s international experience includes his work as a strategist and media consultant for winning campaigns in Colombia (President Andres Pastrana – 1998), Israel (Prime Minister Ehud Barak – 1999), Peru (President Alejandro Toledo – 2001), Bolivia (President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada – 2002), Ireland (Taoiseach BertieAhern – 1997, 2002 and 2007), Honduras (President Mel Zelaya – 2005), and in Ukraine (Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich – 2006; President Yanukovich – 2010).
Devine is considered one of the leading experts on the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process and general election strategy. His work in presidential politics began in 1980 on President Carter’s campaign. He later worked as Deputy Delegate Director in the primary campaign of Walter Mondale, and Executive Assistant to the Campaign Manager in the 1984 general election.
From 1987 to 1988, Devine served as Director of Delegate Selection and Field Operations in the presidential nomination campaign of Governor Michael Dukakis. In the general election, Devine served as Campaign Manager for the Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas. In 1992, Devine was Campaign Manager for Senator Bob Kerrey’s campaign for President. Later that year, Devine served as a member of the Democratic Party Rules Committee from Rhode Island. He was again a member of the Rules Committee in 2004 from Virginia. At the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York, he was a consultant for CBS News. Devine has also worked in law, government and academia. From 1982 - 83 he served as a law clerk to the Rhode Island Superior Court, and from 1985 - 87 he worked as an Associate Attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Winston & Strawn. From 1989 - 90, he served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Providence, RI.
From 1991 to 1993, Devine served as Assistant to the President of Boston University. In addition to his duties in the President’s office, Devine taught a course on presidential campaigns in the Department of Political Science, and was a frequent university lecturer. He has also taught campaign management and strategy courses at the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University. His most recent publications include the chapter "Paid Media In an Era of Revolutionary Change" in the book Campaigns on the Cutting Edge (CQ Press 2008), and the chapter “Obama Wins the Nomination: How He Did It” from Campaigning for President (Routledge 2009). Devine frequently gives lectures on politics and the nominating process in Washington and elsewhere. He has lectured at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and is a regular lecturer at American University's Washington Internship Program, and for the Politics and Journalism Semester program at the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism. Devine also participates frequently in public forums such as the 2009 Bipartisan Policy Center's Inaugural Political Summit at Tulane University entitled “Taking the Poison Out of Partisanship.” He has written opinion pieces for major newspapers including, “Superdelegates, Back Off,” published in the New York Times on February 10, 2008.
In 2005, Devine and his partner Mike Donilon formed D&D Media. Their firm produced advertising for a winning campaign for Governor in New Jersey (Corzine), and in winning Senate races in Rhode Island (Whitehouse), Florida (Nelson), Vermont (Sanders), and for the DSCC independent expenditure for the winning Senate races in Missouri (McCaskill) and New Jersey (Menendez). They also produced the media in the winning campaigns of Mel Zelaya for President of Honduras, and Viktor Yanukovich for Prime Minister in Ukraine. In 2007, Devine joined with Julian Mulvey to form Devine Mulvey, a US and international political consulting firm offering strategic and communications advice to clients across the globe. Leading political organizations have recognized their work as some of the finest in America. Devine Mulvey won eight Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants in 2010, and received three awards from Campaigns & Elections’ 2010 Reed Awards, including “Best Television Advertisement for a Statewide Candidate.” Devine is a frequent commentator on programs airing on MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, CBS, and more. He was a guest on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” twice during the 2008 presidential campaign. Devine was featured in the 2005 documentary Our Brand is Crisis, which follows a team of American political advisers as they work to elect Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, better known as Goni, to a second presidency during the 2002 Bolivian elections. The title of the film is based on a line of dialogue said by Devine during a campaign briefing in La Paz, Bolivia featured in the film. In October, 2010, Devine was recognized as one of "the nation's most respected media consultants" by USA Today.