Meet Brett O'Donnell

Brett O'Donnell
Click here for a printable version of Brett's bio.

Brett O’Donnell, is the President of O’Donnell & Associates and currently serves as a message and media strategist for numerous members of congress and for profit and non profit corporations.  In 2016 O’Donnell helped seven U.S. Senate candidates to victory and to preserve the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.  Also, in 2016 O’Donnell served as the message strategist for the Vote Leave campaign leading the way for Brexit in Britain. In 2014 O’Donnell was the communications consultant to seven candidates who were elected to the United States Senate, helping Republicans take back the majority in the Senate. O’Donnell has consulted for Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the House Republican Conference.  O’Donnell was the Chief Strategist to the Bachmann for President Campaign and was responsible for Representative Bachmann’s debate preparation.  O’Donnell also assisted in preparing Governor Mitt Romney for Presidential Primary debates in Florida, a critical win in Romney’s bid to become the Republican nominee.  He was the Director of Messaging for the McCain Presidential Campaign from January of 2007-November of 2008 where his duties included message strategy and development, supervision of the debate preparation process for both the primary and general election debates, speech writing, public speaking and media training and ensuring that the campaign’s message remained consistent across all its components from advertising and direct mail to its website.  O'Donnell and Associates, Ltd. is a political and corporate strategic communications consulting firm.  During The 2008 presidential campaign O’Donnell was twice named to Time Magazine’s “Five Most Important People Not Running for President” list and has been described as the “best political debate coach” in the country.  He was a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in the fall of 2012. 

In 2004 O’Donnell was retained by the Bush-Cheney campaign to assist the President in debate preparation for 2004 presidential debates, including preparing debate strategies for the President and the Vice-President, and consulting on the rules for the debate formats.  Karl Rove said that O’Donnell’s “hard work and preparation for the debates sent the President into the final stretch of the campaign with a wind at his back.”  Mark McKinnon, President, Maverick Media and Media Advisor to President Bush said of O’Donnell, "The guy has great chops.  He knows more about presidential debates than anyone I've ever talked to."  (New York Times, March 19, 2006)  Since then O’Donnell has consulted for a number of presidential, gubernatorial, senate and house campaigns.  O’Donnell has also written for Sean Hannity and worked in the speech preparation and practice department at the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions. 

O’Donnell has also consulted for Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, and other non profit humanitarian organizations for message/marketing strategy, communications strategy, and rapid response and media communications.  O’Donnell has appeared as a guest on the Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, appeared numerous times on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC as a political analyst and he has guest lectured at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and the LBJ School of Government at the University of Texas. 

Prior to his consulting work, O’Donnell was the Director of Debate at Liberty University for eighteen years where his teams won eighteen national rankings championships in intercollegiate debate.  O’Donnell was named the Keele debate coach of the year by the National Debate Tournament in 1997.  He taught at the University of Michigan’s summer debate institute for seven years and has authored numerous articles and scholarly papers on intercollegiate debate and political communication.

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