We have extensive expertise in strategic planning, media and government relations, ally development and crisis communications. Our dedicated team produces high-quality work in high-pressure situations and is battle-ready.
Gail H. Hoffman, President of The Hoffman Group, is a public affairs professional with more than twenty-five years of experience in federal and state government, business, nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. Hoffman founded The Hoffman Group in 1995, taking a leave in 2003 to hit the presidential campaign trail, and reactivating the firm in early 2007.
A respected strategist, Hoffman has built many high-profile, successful operations in politics, public affairs and business. She has put fledgling ideas, campaigns and businesses on the national map – and since 1995 – on the internet. Hoffman has been at the forefront of some of the highest profile policy debates of the last quarter of a century, transforming thorny or peripheral issues into national agenda items marked by substantial public policy accomplishments. On a wide array of high-visibility issues, she devised innovative strategies and utilized cutting-edge communications tools to successfully amplify the diverse and authoritative voices among the coalitions she built.
From 2005 to 2006, Hoffman was Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for U.S. Newswire, a division of Medialink Worldwide, and served as an executive with Medialink until January 2007. In November 2003, Hoffman joined John Kerry’s presidential campaign as part of the team that turned the campaign around. As Director of Surrogates in the campaign’s war room, she recruited and prepared high profile personalities to speak on behalf of the campaign to the news media, amplifying the campaign’s messages and playing an integral role in the rapid response operation.
Prior to founding The Hoffman Group in 1995, Hoffman served in the Clinton Administration, first in the White House and then in the U.S. Department of Justice. In January 1993, she worked in the Office of the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and in the White House Counsel’s office where she served on Attorney General-Designate Janet Reno’s confirmation team. Hoffman served in the Office of the Attorney General as Special Assistant to the Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. After spearheading Senate confirmations for senior DOJ officials she became Director of DOJ’s Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs. Hoffman co-chaired the 1992 Clinton Campaign Crime and Drug Policy Task Force, and served on the Presidential Transition Team where she drafted the initial plan to put 100,000 community police officers on the street.
From 1987 to 1992, as Legislative Director for Handgun Control, Inc., she led the historic legislative campaigns to pass the Brady Bill and assault weapons ban, winning unprecedented victories against the powerful gun lobby.
Hoffman was an early pioneer in the use of the internet and has been one of the leading innovators in the application of new media for public affairs purposes, including in the internet advertising field. She was featured as a “Morning Newsmaker” at the National Press Club in Washington, DC and speaks before audiences nationwide.
Gwen Fitzgerald is a communications professional who has worked with public interest groups for more than 25 years. She has developed and implemented communications advocacy campaigns for some of the most important issues of our times, including human rights, death with dignity, gun violence prevention, reproductive rights, juvenile justice and other causes.
From 2012 to 2015, Gwen served as the Senior National Director of Communications and Marketing for Compassion & Choices, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. During that time, the organization experienced tremendous growth and increase in visibility. She built a team of rapid-response, campaign professionals who dramatically increased the organization’s presence in traditional media and online. Gwen also led efforts to align messaging across channels (field operations, mass communications and donor outreach), refreshed the branding and was a lead player in developing a multi-year, multi-million-dollar consumer initiative.
Gwen’s team developed the game-changing campaign with Brittany Maynard – a 29-year-old woman dying of brain cancer who moved to Oregon to use its Death With Dignity Act – that was international news for six weeks. That campaign led to a six-fold increase in the number of states considering death-with-dignity laws in 2015 (4 in 2014 and 25+ in 2015) and passage of the End of Life Options Act in California less than one year after her death.
From 2001-2012 Gwen was Managing Director of Communications for Amnesty International USA, where she served as executive editor of Amnesty International Magazine. She cut her teeth on political communications as the Associate Director of Communications for Handgun Control, Inc., from 1987-1994, working to enact the Brady Law and the assault weapons ban. In 1999, she was the Director of Communications for the successful campaign to block an NRA-backed referendum to allow the carrying of concealed weapons in Missouri. She served as a spokesperson to the media in both capacities, appearing on CNN, in The Washington Post, and regional newspapers and television affiliates across the country.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State University, and enjoys walking her dog (Clifford), gardening and creating pottery in her spare time.
Stephen Gaskill positions leaders and organizations to reach and move targeted audiences to action. With a background in communications and politics, Stephen devises and implements workable plans of action with measurable benchmarks that achieve client goals.
A veteran of Democratic politics, Stephen has held senior communications roles in the Clinton/Gore, Gore/Lieberman and Kerry/Edwards Presidential campaigns, serving as advisor to and spokesperson for the Gore and Kerry families. In addition, Stephen was spokesperson for the 1993 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and handled media relations at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Democratic National Conventions.
He has served as communications director on a variety of notable campaigns, including Geraldine Ferraro for US Senate (New York), Alex Sink for Governor (Florida), and Say No 2/Florida Red and Blue (Florida Constitutional amendment). Stephen also advised numerous campaigns for US Congress, Mayor, and City and County Commission, and helped to form the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, growing the organization into a statewide entity with significant impact on Florida politics.
He has worked in a number of Washington’s leading public affairs firms with a portfolio that included health care, transportation, environmental, and energy, and served in both terms of the Clinton administration at the US Labor Department, including a stint as communications director at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
A Maryland native, Stephen holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.
A speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan and corporate executives, Mark D. Weinberg is a highly experienced thought leadership and executive communications consultant and former White House spokesperson who has held senior management positions at Fortune 500 corporations and the Federal government. He has written full length speeches, commencement addresses, talking points, corporate employee town hall video messages, toasts, brief remarks, op-eds, CEO Annual Report Letters to Shareholders, TV show scripts, articles, web content and books. Thought leadership pieces he has written for clients have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Washington Times, TIME Magazine and Vital Speeches of the Day. His own by-line has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Times, The Huffington Post, The Star Ledger, The Plain Dealer and Vital Speeches of the Day.
Toto, a ten pound miniature poodle, is The Hoffman Group’s “Top Dog.” Well known in Old Town, Toto also enjoys a national following. He has appeared on NBC Nightly News and the Daily Show, where Jon Stewart referred to him as a labradoodle (no offense taken as we love labradoodles). Toto is a pro at maintaining a happy and balanced work life and always entertains by performing many tricks, including pirouettes and his specialty, “walking on two feet.”