NEW YORK—Veteran public affairs executive Steve Schmidt, most recently a partner at Mercury Public Affairs, is joining Edelman as vice chairman, public affairs. Schmidt is providing counsel on a limited basis effective immediately, and will join in full in December.
Schmidt has provided high-level strategic counsel to political candidates, elected officials, and major organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood studios and professional sports teams, most recently as head of Mercury’s California operations.
Prior to Mercury, he served in positions at the highest levels of politics and government, including senior advisor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; campaign manager for the 2006 re-election of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; deputy assistant to the President and counsellor to the Vice President in the White House, where he played leading roles on the confirmation teams for the nominations of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court; and a member of the senior strategic planning group that directed former President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
Schmidt will serve as a senior strategic counsellor to Edelman on a global basis. He also will serve as an advisor to Edelman’s $60 million U.S. public affairs practice, encompassing a team of 170 professionals serving a broad array of clients including API, Business Roundtable, Monsanto, Oregon Bridge Delivery Partners, and Pfizer. He will report to Matthew Harrington, president and CEO of Edelman U.S., and will be based in Sacramento.