Thomas A. (Tad) Devine was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1955. He was an All-State basketball player at La Salle Academy, and received his A.B. in American History from Brown University, and his J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law. He is a member of the Bar in Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
Since 1993, Tad has worked as a media consultant— writing, directing and producing television and radio advertising for leading Democratic and Independent candidates in the U.S. and providing strategic advice for national campaigns in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. He has produced television advertising in 17 winning U.S. Senate campaigns, and worked as a media consultant and strategist in 10 winning campaigns for President or Prime Minister around the world. He has also taught campaign management and strategy courses at Boston University and The George Washington University.
In the United States, Tad has worked at the highest-levels of campaigns for President. In 2000, he served as a senior strategist to the Gore/Lieberman campaign and oversaw day-to-day operations management in the general election. In 2004, Tad served as a senior advisor and strategist to Senator John Kerry’s campaign for President in both the primary and the general election. He frequently represented the campaign on programs like Meet the Press and Face the Nation.
Tad’s international experience includes his work as a strategist and media consultant for winning campaigns in Colombia (President Andres Pastrana - 1998), Israel (Prime Minister Ehud Barak - 1999), Peru (President Alejandro Toledo - 2001), Bolivia (President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada - 2002), Ireland (Taoiseach Bertie Ahern 1997, 2002 and 2007), Honduras (President Mel Zelaya - 2005), and in Ukraine (Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych - 2006; President Yanukovych - 2010).
Tad is considered one of the leading experts on the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process and general election strategy. His work in presidential politics began in 1980 on President Carter’s campaign. He later worked as Deputy Delegate Director in the primary campaign of Walter Mondale, and Executive Assistant to the Campaign Manager in the 1984 general election.
In 1987-88, Tad served as Director of Delegate Selection and Field Operations in the presidential nomination campaign of Governor Michael Dukakis. In the general election, he served as Campaign Manager for the Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas.
In 1992, Tad was Campaign Manager for Senator Bob Kerrey’s campaign for President. Later that year, he served as a member of the Democratic Party Rules Committee from RI. He was again a member of the Rules Committee in 2004 from VA. At the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York he was a consultant to CBS News.
Tad has also worked in law, government and academia. From 1982-83 he served as a law clerk to the Rhode Island Superior Court, and from 1985-87 he worked as an Associate Attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Winston & Strawn. From 1989-90, he served as a Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island.
From 1991-93, Tad served as Assistant to the President of Boston University. In addition to his duties in the President’s office, he taught a course on presidential campaigns in the Department of Political Science, and was a frequent university lecturer. His most recent publications include the chapter “Paid Media-In an Era of Revolutionary Change” in the book Campaigns on the Cutting Edge (CQ Press 2008) and the chapter “Obama Wins the Nomination: How He Did It” in the book Campaigning for President (Routledge 2009).
In 2005, Tad and his partner Mike Donilon formed D&D Media. Their firm produced advertising for a winning campaign for Governor in New Jersey (Corzine), and in winning Senate races in Rhode Island (Whitehouse), Florida (Nelson), Vermont (Sanders), and for the DSCC independent expenditure for the winning Senate races in Missouri (McCaskill) and New Jersey (Menendez). That year D&D Media also produced the media in the winning campaigns of Mel Zelaya for President of Honduras and Viktor Yanukovych for Prime Minister in Ukraine.
In 2007, Tad Devine joined with Julian Mulvey to form Devine Mulvey, a U.S. and international political consulting firm offering strategic and communications advice to clients across the globe. Leading political organizations have recognized their work as some of the finest in America, with 31 Pollie Awards and 4 Reed Awards between them, they have received the highest recognition of quality advertising in the industry. In 2009, Devine Mulvey was awarded the “Best Statewide Ad” from Campaigns & Elections magazine. In October 2010, Tad was recognized as one of “the nation’s most respected media consultants” by USA Today.
As a fall semester 2011 Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Tad led a study group on international political consulting. Tad lives in McLean, VA with his wife Ellen, their three children, and their pug.