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Plenary Panel on Digital Strategies for U.S. Presidential Election - Panelist Bios & Photos

Plenary Panel on Digital Strategies for U.S. Presidential Election


Alan Rosenblatt (Moderator) - Center for American Progress

Alan Rosenblatt is a social media and online advocacy strategist for the Center for American Progress/CAP Action Fund.  Alan taught the world’s first internet politics course at George Mason University in 1995. He founded the Internet Advocacy Roundtable in 2005; teaches course on internet politics at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Gonzaga, and American Universities; blogs at,,, and occasionally at,, and; serves on’s board of directors; was a 2008 fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet; and is a co-founder of and  Alan has a Ph.D. in Political Science from American University. Find him on Twitter @DrDigipol and @CAPcongress.


Adam Conner - Facebook

Adam Conner is a Manager for Public Policy in Facebook’s Washington DC office, where he focuses on government and political outreach and has directed the company's election efforts since 2007.  In 2009 Politics Magazine named him one of their “Rising Stars,” in 2010 MSNBC named him to the BLTWY Power List: 35 people under 35 who changed DC in 2010, and in 2011 the Diplomatic Courier named him one of the "Top 99 Most Influential International Professionals Under 33."  Prior to opening Facebook's Washington DC office, Adam was the Director of Online Communications for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Chairwoman of the Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously served as the Deputy Director of Online Communications for Forward Together, the presidential exploratory committee for former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.  Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in political communication from the George Washington University and hails from Los Alamos, New Mexico.


Mindy Finn - Twitter, Inc.

Mindy Finn, a seasoned digital media pioneer and entrepreneur, leads strategic partnerships for Twitter with a focus on politics, advocacy and public affairs. Previously, she was a partner at media firm Engage, which she co-founded in 2008.

With Engage, Finn consulted for some of America’s most well-known politicians and brands including Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner, U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Google and ExxonMobil.

She has worked in senior roles on two presidential campaigns, leading digital media for Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign and for the Republican National Committee, and in the U.S. House and Senate in press and legislative roles. A sought-after speaker, Finn has been a featured presenter at the SXSW Interactive conference, a seven-time headliner at Personal Democracy Forum and lectured at Harvard University, Northwestern University and the University of Texas, among others.

Finn was recently named one of “50 Politicos to Watch” by POLITICO and one of 100 “Tech Titans” by Washingtonian magazine for her innovative work in government and politics. She has appeared as a regular contributor to NPR and provided commentary for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC on the intersection of politics and technology. 


Matt Lira - Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan

Matt Lira is the Digital Director for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  In this capacity, he has been charged by the Majority Leader to work towards modernizing the way that Congress interacts with the public, in both the manner of communications and the development of public policy.  With the occasional sabbatical from the Hill, Matt has worked for Rep. Cantor since 2006 and was the first digital staffer to assume a senior staff role in a House Leadership office. 

Additional experiences include serving as the Digital Director for VP Nominee Paul Ryan, the Republican National Committee, and co-founding a startup that developed websites for professional baseball players.

Michael Slaby (@slaby) - Obama for America

Passionate and committed to saving the world, Michael Slaby rejoined the Obama Team in March 2011 as Chief Integration and Innovation Officer where he oversaw the CTO, CIO, CAO to ensure effective integration of technology and analytics across the entire campaign and directed all data, engineering, product development, IT, security, and analytics.  Previously he was the Digital Global Practice Chair at Edelman – the world’s largest independent PR and strategic communications firm – and Chief Technology Strategist for TomorrowVentures – Eric Schmidt’s hybrid venture capital fund.  He has worked with companies from Fortune 100 enterprises to angel-round startups on their technology strategy, product development, digital engagement and media, and organizational strategy.

During the 2008 cycle, Michael served as the Chief Technology Officer and Deputy Director of Digital for Obama for America and as Technology Director for the Presidential Transition Team.  Prior to joining the Obama family, worked as Deputy Campaign Manager for Alderman Daley in Chicago and spent the 2006 mid-term election cycle at The Strategy Group working on campaigns across the country.  Before jumping into politics and campaigns full-time, he spent several years working in multimedia design & development and web application & platform development with a series of boutique agencies and startups.


Samantha Smith - Google

Samantha Smith is a Global Communications and Policy Manager for Google's Washington DC office. She manages the Google Politics and Elections team's communications efforts, overseeing Google's media relations on all issues directly related to the 2012 elections. She previously served as Press Secretary for Senator Richard Burr in both his Senate office and reelection campaign. Earlier, she worked on surrogate communications for Senator John McCain's presidential campaign. Originally from Memphis, she is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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