Richard A. Grenell has nearly two decades of experience in all aspects of communications and public affairs. Grenell has served as the primary communications advisor for public officials at the local, state, federal and international levels, as well as for a Fortune 500 ranked health care company (DaVita, Inc.) with roughly $6 billion in revenues. Currently, Grenell is a Partner with Capitol Media Partners specializing in strategic and crisis communications issues with public policy challenges. He is based in Los Angeles, CA.
While at DaVita, Inc., Grenell was responsible for a Corporate Communications budget of roughly $2 million, managed a team of twelve professionals and reported to the CEO. Grenell revamped DaVita’s Communications operations by drastically cutting the use of external vendors and hiring an internal team to begin building the brand – all while still saving over $300,000.
Grenell was appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush to serve as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In this role, Grenell advised four U.S. Ambassadors – John D. Negroponte, John C. Danforth, John R. Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad – on the formulation and articulation of United States policy at the United Nations. In his roughly 8 years at the UN, Grenell developed extensive media contacts with hundreds of international reporters based in New York and Washington, DC, including paying particular attention to Arab and Asian media outlets.
Grenell served as the United States Spokesman at the United Nations during the world body’s most turbulent time. Grenell and his staff of fourteen were responsible for all aspects of media relations, public relations, public affairs, marketing communications, communications strategy, crisis communications, special events, business community outreach and the website. He and his team led communications strategies on issues such as: the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq; peacekeeping operations in Haiti, Liberia, the Congo and Sudan; the conflict in the Middle East; Iran’s nuclear weapons program; a North Korean missile test; Syria/Lebanon conflict; and the UN’s Oil for Food Corruption investigation, to name a few. Grenell has consistently worked to align opinion leaders in Washington, DC and Hollywood with grass-roots activists through issues as diverse as kidney disease and the war in Sudan utilizing celebrities such as George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Alonzo Mourning to name a few.
Prior to his service at the United Nations, Grenell served as Spokesman/Director of Communications for Mayor Susan Golding of San Diego. While in San Diego, Grenell helped lead a successful campaign for a $1.2 billion ballpark redevelopment project that included 26 downtown blocks anchored by a baseball stadium for the San Diego Padres. Grenell also served as a spokesman in Governor George Pataki’s Administration in New York where he led a successful campaign to redesign the advertising and image for the $3 billion New York Lottery. In addition, Grenell served as Spokesman/Director of Communications for Congressman (and current Governor) Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Congressman Dave Camp of Michigan.
Grenell is an active speaker on issues involving crisis communications, the media, new media for communications professionals, the United Nations and international issues ranging from the Sudan to North Korea and the Middle East. Grenell was a featured guest speaker for Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2008 Homeland Security Annual Conference. Grenell has been interviewed on Fox News, CNN, ABC News, NBC News and many other media outlets. His written commentary is regularly seen in the Huffington Post, the Washington Times, CBSnews.com, CNN.com, Politico, Breitbart.com and Newsmax.com. Grenell is also a regular Commentator for Al-Jazeera TV. Grenell also teaches at The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications.
Grenell received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Public Administration from Evangel College.