Public relations, public affairs & crisis

Scott Burnham

If knowing is half the battle, then Scott Burnham is the strategist you want on your side. With more than 15 years of experience in government, campaign and crisis communications, Scott knows firsthand the ins and outs of Illinois politics and media. He brings an impressive record of experience, credibility and results to the table.

Throughout his career, Scott has developed strong relationships with key stakeholders, decision makers and media personalities to effectively convey messages and – most importantly – achieve desired solutions. His expertise lies in delivering sound and effective communications strategies, while his roots penetrate state, county and suburban politics and news outlets.

As communications director for Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Scott played an integral role in helping the first-time candidate ascend to statewide office and, ultimately, a U.S. Senate nomination. When Alexi’s 2006 campaign for treasurer came under intense scrutiny, Scott was enlisted to retool his image. He developed new communications strategies and policy initiatives to help reposition Alexi as a progressive, independent and innovative reformer.

Running against the political establishment, Alexi capped off one of the more improbable victories in Illinois politics to become the youngest state treasurer in the nation. Scott continued to serve as a senior adviser in the state treasurer’s office, crafting and implementing an aggressive agenda that raised the administration’s profile. It focused on inspired initiatives and bold policies designed to curb ethical abuses, create jobs, invest in green technology, make college more affordable, earn more money for taxpayers and promote the financial well being of Illinois residents.

Scott later served as Alexi’s communications director in his bid for U.S. Senate, acting as the candidate’s chief spokesperson and directing and implementing communications and media strategies for one of the highest-profile, costliest and most brutal campaigns in the nation.

Prior to working with Alexi, Scott served as communications director for the Cook County Clerk David Orr’s Office, which conducts elections for one of the largest jurisdictions in the nation. After the 2000 presidential election, which exposed serious flaws in the electoral process, Scott developed and implemented multi-faceted voter education drives, public service campaigns and reform initiatives designed to improve how elections are run. Many of these efforts gained national attention, resulting in industry awards and recognition for Cook County as an election reform leader.

Much of Scott’s success comes from his experience as a reporter, which gives him a knack for knowing how to clearly, succinctly and effectively package and advance messages to both targeted and mainstream audiences.

As the political writer for the Daily Southtown, Scott covered politics and government on a federal, state and county level during a time of political unrest in the south suburbs that resulted significant power shifts in the 1990s. Scott also worked as an award-winning journalist at the Hammond Times (Illinois Bureau) and a contributor to the Chicago Reporter and Illinois Issues.

Scott holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

He lives in Oak Park with his wife, Monika, and their two children.

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