Campaign 2010

Nov 16, 2012

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Names Kelly Ward as Executive Director, Names Deputies

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel announced today that House strategist, skilled political operative and DCCC veteran Kelly Ward has been named Executive Director of the DCCC for the 2014 cycle. In addition, strategist and communications veteran Jesse Ferguson was named Deputy Executive Director and Communications Director and veteran DCCC fundraiser Missy Kurek was named Deputy Executive Director for Finance. Chairman Israel also thanked current Executive Director Robby Mook for his exemplary service to the committee.


“I couldn’t be happier or prouder that Kelly Ward will be our new Executive Director,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said. “Kelly brings the right mix of smart political instincts and experienced leadership to aggressively take on this Tea Party Republican majority. Kelly, Jesse and Missy will lead a strong team of leaders who will take the fight to districts all across the country.”


In 2012, House Democrats defeated 16 Republican incumbents – more than in 2008 – and have rebuilt the Democratic caucus back to 200 members strong again. The Cook Political Report described the election as a “Better than expected night for House Dems.”


Kelly Ward said, “I’m honored to be working with Chairman Israel and House Democrats to continue the progress we’ve made. We will have a strong, dynamic and aggressive team at the DCCC who will work to continue our success in 2014.”


Chairman Israel also said of Robby Mook, “Robby strongly and ably led our team in 2012 and he’s one of the best strategists in our party today. I cannot thank him enough for his leadership and his tenacity that led us to great success. On behalf of the DCCC leadership and staff, I wish him all the best.”


Kelly Ward, Executive Director

Ward has served as the DCCC’s Political Director since January of 2011. As Political Director, Ward oversaw candidate redistricting, recruitment, campaign planning and strategy, leading to victory in 78 percent of the seats considered Toss Up by the Rothenberg Report and 69 percent of the seats considered Toss Up by the Cook Political Report. Prior to serving as Political Director, Ward was the DCCC’s Regional Political Director for Incumbent Retention in 2010.  She previously managed Alan Khazei’s U.S. Senate campaign, ran former Congressman Harry Mitchell’s first congressional campaign, ran several nonprofit advocacy campaigns and worked for former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. She got her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and has her Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Jesse Ferguson, Deputy Executive Director and Communications Director [@JesseFFerguson]

Ferguson served the DCCC as Communications Director and previously National Press Secretary in the 2012 cycle. Ferguson was the lead spokesman for House Democrats’ successful 2012 election effort and led the Communications team in aggressively defining Republican incumbents and challengers. He previously ran Communications in the Southern region for the DCCC in 2010. Prior to that, Jesse was Communications Director and Senior Advisor in the Virginia Governor’s race and previously worked as Chief‐of‐Staff to the Democratic Caucus Chairman in the Virginia House of Delegates. Jesse was also the Executive Director of Virginia21, a higher education advocacy organization based in Richmond. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Economics from the College of William and Mary.


Missy Kurek, Deputy Executive Director for Finance

Kurek served as the DCCC’s National Finance Director, focusing on the national individual donor program, in the 2012 cycle. Kurek also serves as Senior Political Advisor to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. She led the DCCC to outraise the NRCC despite being in the minority – an unprecedented achievement. Kurek held the positions of South Finance Director and Deputy National Finance Director at the DCCC.  This will be her fifth cycle at the DCCC. Kurek has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Syracuse University.