Daniel Pfeiffer

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Howard Daniel Pfeiffer[1] (born December 24, 1975) is an American podcaster and Obama White House staffer. He was the Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama for Strategy and Communications from 2013 to 2015.[2]

Dan Pfeiffer
Daniel Pfeiffer.jpg
Pfeiffer in 2010
Senior Advisor to the President
In office
January 25, 2013 – March 6, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byDavid Plouffe
Succeeded byShailagh Murray
White House Communications Director
In office
November 30, 2009 – January 25, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byAnita Dunn (acting)
Succeeded byJennifer Palmieri
Personal details
Howard Daniel Pfeiffer

(1975-12-24) December 24, 1975 (age 45)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 2006; div. 2011)

Howli Ledbetter
(m. 2016)
EducationGeorgetown University (BA)

Pfeiffer was a long-time aide to Obama, serving in various press and communications roles throughout his 2008 campaign for the Presidency, on his presidential transition team, and in the Obama White House.[3] He co-hosts Pod Save America, a political podcast, with Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor.[4][5] In 2015, Pfeiffer joined CNN as a political contributor.[6]

Pfeiffer has written two books: Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump (2018), and Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again (2020).

Early life and careerEdit

Pfeiffer was born in Wilmington, Delaware,[7] the son of Vivian Lear (née Strange), a learning specialist, and Gary Malick Pfeiffer, a financial officer for DuPont.[8][9] He graduated from Wilmington Friends School and then magna cum laude from Georgetown University.[10] He began his career in politics working as a spokesman for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) initiative of the Clinton Administration. In 2000, he joined the communications department of Al Gore's 2000 campaign for the Presidency.[11]

Following the 2000 presidential election, he went to work for the Democratic Governors Association, and later worked for Senators Tim Johnson, Tom Daschle, and Evan Bayh.[12] He served briefly as communications director for Evan Bayh's presidential exploratory committee.[13]

Obama White HouseEdit

After the 2008 presidential election, Pfeiffer ran the communications office for the Obama-Biden Transition team and was then appointed Deputy White House Communications Director after the inauguration of Barack Obama. Less than a year later, after the departure of Anita Dunn, Pfeiffer was named White House Communications Director. He remained in the role for the entire first term of the Obama presidency.[14] At the start of President Obama's second term, Pfeiffer was promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications, taking over most of the portfolio previously managed in the White House by David Axelrod and David Plouffe. He left the White House on March 6, 2015.[15]

Other workEdit

Pfeiffer was Vice President for Communications and Policy at GoFundMe from December 2015 to September 2017.[16] Pfeiffer currently serves on the Board of Advisors of Let America Vote, a voting rights organization founded by former Crooked Media host Jason Kander.[17]


Pfeiffer is the author of a #1 The New York Times Best Seller, Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump (2018). In his first book, Pfeiffer tells the story of "how Barack Obama navigated the insane political forces that created [President] Trump, explaining why everyone got 2016 wrong, and offering a path for where Democrats go from here."[18]

In February 2020, Pfeiffer published his second book, Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again. In it, Pfeiffer outlines how Donald Trump became president because of the current state of American politics, not in spite of it. He also offers a plan for Democrats to win the 2020 election and how to prevent the likes of Trump from ever happening again by fixing our democracy.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

On July 16, 2006, Pfeiffer married Sarah Elizabeth Feinberg, a senior adviser and spokeswoman for Obama's former Chief of Staff and subsequent Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.[8] In 2011, Pfeiffer and Feinberg separated, and later divorced.[20]

In 2016, Pfeiffer married Howli Ledbetter, former director of message planning in the Obama White House.[21][22] In May 2018, Ledbetter gave birth to a daughter, Kyla.[23][24] In March 2021, their second child, a son called Jack, was born.[25][26]


  1. ^ "Biography: Howard Daniel Pfeiffer". LegiStorm. Retrieved January 27, 2014. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Pfeiffer takes over for Dunn". Retrieved December 3, 2009.
  3. ^ "Obama picks his communications team - CNN.com". www.cnn.com. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Rutenberg, Jim. "Opposition and a Shave: Former Obama Aides Counter Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Pod Save America". Crooked Media. January 9, 2017. Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Eric Bradner (June 1, 2015). "Dan Pfeiffer joins CNN as contributor". CNN Politics. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Rutenberg, Jim. "Times Topics, People". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
  8. ^ a b "Sarah Feinberg, H. Daniel Pfeiffer". The New York Times. July 16, 2006. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  9. ^ Who, Marquis Who's (May 1999). Who's who in Finance and Industry. Marquis Who's Who, LLC. ISBN 9780837903347. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  10. ^ James, Randy (November 13, 2009). "Dan Pfeiffer: The Next White House Communications Boss". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Bradner, Eric (June 1, 2015). "Dan Pfeiffer joins CNN as contributor". CNN politics. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  12. ^ Hulse, Carl (May 31, 2006). "A Build-a-Protest Approach to Immigration". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
  13. ^ "Former White House Advisor Pfeiffer Talks Politics". September 14, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Dan Pfeiffer: The Next White House Communications Boss". Time. November 13, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  15. ^ "Delaware's Dan Pfeiffer: From White House to podcaster". The News Journal. August 16, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  16. ^ "Dan Pfeiffer | LinkedIn".
  17. ^ "Advisors". Let America Vote. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  18. ^ "Yes We (Still) Can". Goodreads. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  19. ^ "Un-Trumping America". Goodreads. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  20. ^ The Reliable Source (December 20, 2011). "Love, etc.: Dan Pfeiffer and Sarah Feinberg separate; Debra Messing; Chaz Bono". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  21. ^ "Former White House aide Dan Pfeiffer engaged to another Obama alum, Howli Ledbetter". The Washington Post. May 18, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  22. ^ "Howli Pfeiffer profile". Wearerally.com. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  23. ^ Schneider, Lindsay (June 21, 2018). ""Democrats Get so Mad": Pod Save America's Dan Pfeiffer on Maggie Haberman, Robert Mueller, and Who Can Beat Trump in 2020". Vanity Fair.
  24. ^ Cormier, Ryan (June 14, 2018). "Former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer, Wilmington native, talks White House adventures in book". Delaware News Journal.
  25. ^ Crooked Media (March 25, 2021). "Joe Biden Vs The Filibuster | Pod Save America". YouTube. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  26. ^ Crooked Media (April 1, 2021). "Planes, Trains and Gaetz | Pod Save America". YouTube. Retrieved April 2, 2021.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Anita Dunn
White House Director of Communications
Succeeded by
Jennifer Palmieri
Preceded by
David Plouffe
Senior Advisor to the President
With: Brian Deese
Valerie Jarrett
Succeeded by
Shailagh Murray