Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Digital Officer, Republican National Committee
Chuck DeFeo is a digital pioneer who is continually recognized for innovative digital grassroots and issue advocacy campaigns. He designed the first digital campaign for an incumbent President of the United States, oversaw data and technology projects for the U.S. Attorney General and the Department of Justice in 2001, built the largest conservative online community of its time, and organized an international Twitter campaign that helped free a political prisoner in Iran.
Today, as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Digital Officer for the Republican National Committee (RNC) he is building the new Digital and Data division and leading the effort to move the RNC to a data-centered organization and transform the Party’s digital marketing efforts.
Prior to the RNC he was a Senior Vice President for Edelman, where he led the Washington, D.C. office’s digital issues management and public affairs practice.
DeFeo was first nationally recognized for writing the strategic plan and managing the digital efforts for President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign. The tactics pioneered by that campaign have become standard in candidate digital efforts. Innovations included the first online activist “dashboard,” featuring volunteer managed door-knocking efforts, call-from-home, online voter registration & early vote tools, voting location look-up with map and driving directions, an integrated offline and online voter contact management system, and several word-of-mouth marketing tools.
While leading the RNC’s digital efforts during the historic Republican gains of the 2002 election, he executed the first online advertising buy that used voter and consumer data to target online advertising to voters.
After the 2004 election, he became Vice President and General Manager for Townhall.com and the Salem Communications network of news and opinion websites. The substantial profit growth under his leadership enabled the launch of Townhall Magazine in which DeFeo was the co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.
He later went on to build the digital division for the the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a free speech and religious liberty organization. The team and technical infrastructure DeFeo put in place, serves content and calls to action in multiple languages across seven Websites and numerous social media platforms around the globe. Innovations include the first one-click donation system by a not-for-profit, and was the first non-profit to integrate Facebook’s open-graph across multiple digital applications. It is at the ACLJ that he built the Tweet for Youcef campaign – part of the international effort that lead to the freeing of a pastor illegally imprisoned in Iran. The effort enabled over 14 million Twitter accounts across the globe to be reached daily with the same message in multiple languages.
DeFeo spent much of his career as a technology and legislative aide to Senator and Attorney General John Ashcroft. In 2001 and 2002 he managed priority information technology (IT) projects for the Attorney General, assisted in the realignment of IT expenditures towards Administration goals and the global war on terror, and helped set up the first Chief Information Officer (CIO)’s division for main Justice.
Other notable accomplishments include serving as a senior digital consultant to the McCain for President 2000 campaign, acting in a digital leadership role for two Republican National Conventions, and directing digital for the 2004 Presidential Inaugural Committee.