Ann Marie Habershaw knows how to manage people and she knows campaigns. Her career has been marked by successfully bringing great minds and skill sets together to accomplish remarkable things, a streak she hopes to continue in her new position as COO of Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI), a marketing, communications and advertising agency.
Born out of the political space and elevated by its work on both the Obama campaigns, BPI has undergone large-scale growth in the last three years and was ranked the fifth fastest-growing company in D.C. in the Inc. 5,000.
This makes BPI a very natural fit for Habershaw, who served as COO of Obama for America, the DNC, the DCCC, and was director of finance and administration at Emily’s List.
During her time at OFA, Habershaw oversaw a campaign with a $1 billion budget and built up the infrastructure and resources that allowed the campaign’s memorable focus on grassroots organizing, technology and digital strategy to flourish. When working on campaigns or organizations under such high levels of scrutiny, Habershaw said that dealing with the media plays a key role.
“My role in a lot of organizations–whether it was Emily’s list, or the DNC, or the DCCC, or the Obama campaign–it was not just about running the business side and making sure the resources, including the people and the money, were aligned with the mission,” Habershaw told FishbowlDC.
“It’s been interesting to be at the senior level of all of these organizations, where the focus was managing the significant amount of money, people, infrastructure and also understanding that all of these operations were also under a spotlight that not every single organization is under every single day.”
Habershaw’s experience at OFA has also given her a unique perspective on the role of new media in contemporary campaign culture.
“The Obama campaign in ’08 was really scrappy and innovative, and had a small amount time and limited resources to really do something important,” said Habershaw. “I think if you look at that campaign and what came out of it, and not only how it changed how campaigns are done but also how it made all types of organizations, whether non-profit or for-profit, look at how they engaged and how they connected with people, I think that’s really an incredible intercept.”
In her new role at BPI, Habershaw will put the breadth of her experience to work for the growing company and will oversee the company’s offices, including a newly opened space in Chicago. Habershaw will also focus on BPI’s roster of clients which includes two of her former employers: the DNC and the DCCC.