Doug Thornell

Doug Thornell

Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker


Doug Thornell is responsible for developing and executing sophisticated communications, crisis management, and earned and paid media campaigns for political candidates, major non-profit organizations and Fortune 100 companies at SKDKnickerbocker. Doug has worked on civil rights and social justice, voting rights, taxes, telecommunications and health care issues. He has launched multiple coalitions, worked closely with companies and organizations to communicate on complicated legislative and regulatory issues, managed corporate and political crisis situations, and worked directly with CEOs and candidates on media training, reputation management and strategic visioning. He currently serves as the firm’s on-the-record spokesman.

Doug brings years of experience working on Capitol Hill and political campaigns to his current work. He has served as the Congressional Black Caucus’ communications director, traveling press secretary for Gov. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, deputy political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, lead spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a top adviser to Rep. Chris Van Hollen. While working for Rep. Van Hollen, Doug was integral in developing press and messaging strategies to pass the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He started his political career on the Gore for President Campaign in 2000.

In 2015, he was named one of PRWeek’s top young communicators in the country on the 40 under 40 list. In 2007, he was named a Politico to Watch by POLITICO for his messaging expertise. He is a frequent political analyst on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel and his opinion pieces can be found in the Huffington Post,, Roll Call and The Hill. Doug serves on the board of Stone Soup Films and the Sidwell Friends School Alumni Association. Doug is proud to hail from the Washington, D.C. area and has a degree in Government from Cornell University, where he played varsity football.