Jess O’Connell, Partner, NEWCO Strategies
For nearly twenty years, O’Connell has worked to advance progressive policies and to elect Democrats all over the country. She’s held senior positions with Hillary Clinton, EMILY’s List, Center the American Progress, the US Global Leadership Coalition, ONE, and the Children’s Defense Fund. Most recently, as founder and CEO of JOC Strategy Group, she worked with progressive leaders and organizations on a wide range of leadership and strategic advising.
In 2017, O’Connell served as the CEO at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) where she oversaw an historic reorganization and created a new mission and purpose for an institution that traditionally focused on one election every four years. In 2018, she crafted and launched the national I WILL VOTE campaign to help Democrats win with the largest midterm margin since Watergate. Jess served as spokeswoman for the DNC with CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and more.
Jess joined the DNC from EMILY’s List, the largest political organization and resource for women in the United States, where she was the Executive Director. She helped lead EMILY’s List to historic increases in membership and fundraising from 3M members to over 5M and $90M raised in 2016. She oversaw the largest independent expenditure program in the organization’s history at that time.
Jess has steered operations for two Presidential campaigns. She served on the senior team as the National Director of Operations for Hillary Clinton’s first run for President, where Jess directed the day-to-day operations of the national campaign. She played a similar role as the Interim National Director of Operations for Howard Dean in 2003.
Jess spoke at the March 2019 Candidate Recruitment training session.