Catherine “Kiki” McLean joined Porter Novelli in July 2009 providing leadership for the Washington DC office, as well as the agency’s global public affairs efforts. In her work, she drives message development for high profile clients; leads execution of public launches of major initiatives for not for profit and corporate concerns; manages rapid response strategies for clients in crisis; provides media training for CEOs and national political candidates; and builds communications infrastructure for new and growing organizations. One of the top public affairs strategists in the country, she appears frequently on national television as a commentator on politics and current events.
Previously, McLean served as a partner of the Dewey Square Group for 15 years, a public affairs consulting firm, where she led the communications practice. Throughout her career, McLean's work has focused on the communications and politics of public policy. During the 2008 election season, McLean served as a Senior Advisor to the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign and frequently appeared as an on-air surrogate for the Obama for America campaign.
In 2004, McLean helped develop the acclaimed Vice Presidential announcement strategy for the Kerry campaign. McLean served as the national press secretary and spokesperson to Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in Washington, DC and was the spokesperson for Joe Lieberman as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in the 2000 general election. Previously, she was appointed the communications director to the Denver Summit of the Eight and spokesperson for the 1997 Presidential Inaugural. These roles followed her work as communications director for the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago where she was responsible for all communications planning and execution, including overseeing a paid and volunteer staff of nearly 400 people. Following the convention, McLean managed the Clinton-Gore '96 debate communications operations, coordinating surrogate, press and rapid response strategies.
She was named communications director of the Democratic National Committee, after serving as press secretary and advisor to Tipper Gore during the 1992 general election where she supported Gore's unprecedented role as a fourth member of the dynamic campaign team. Continuing in that role, she also served as member of the Presidential Transition communications staff.
As press secretary to the Democratic Leadership Council and its affiliated think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, McLean's efforts were concentrated on the development of cutting edge policy and political initiatives. She served under the Chairmanships of Senator John Breaux (D-LA) and then-Governor Bill Clinton.
Her experience in the private sector includes service as a public relations consultant with the Washington offices of Ogilvy and Mather Public Affairs where she gained broad experience in the issue areas of taxation, international trade, labor and the environment.
McLean is a native of San Antonio, Texas and received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Communications from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. She currently serves as a member of the CLEARCorps USA Board of Directors.