MSNBC Names Former White House Staffer as VP of Communications

Rachel MSNBCToday MSNBC announced the hiring of Rachel Racusen as its new VP of communications.

Racusen, who will handle comms and media strategy while partnering with editorial and business leads at the network, will also serve as MSNBC’s primary spokesperson moving forward.

Earlier this month, a source told us that the network was looking for a candidate with connections to the current administration, and Racusen certainly fits that bill: prior to this appointment, she served as associate communications director at The White House.

Boston native Racusen has an extensive history in public relations, beginning her career with Washington, D.C.’s Dittus Communications and serving as VP at area firm SKDKnickerbocker. She has also held multiple roles within the federal government: after leaving Dittus, she spent four years as communications director for the House Education and Workforce Committee before moving to FEMA, where she led the agency’s responses to Hurricane Irene and other deadly storms as its director of public affairs.

While at the White House, Racusen helped devise press strategies surrounding major events like President Obama’s State of the Union Address, the White House Working Families Summit, the recent Ebola crisis, and the Healthcare.gov rollout. She officially joined the administration in 2013 after serving as deputy national communications director for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Racusen replaces Lauren Skowronski, who was promoted to the VP of corporate communications position at NBCUniversal in July. She begins work on Monday, December 8 and will report directly to MSNBC President Phil Griffin, who adds:

“I’m thrilled to add Rachel to our senior team. She has great experience, she’s creative, strategic and passionate about our brand. She’ll be a tremendous asset to the network.”