News · Press Release

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos announces first round of senior staff hires

Iraq combat veteran Allison Jaslow will lead the DCCC as the new Executive Director

Bustos hires Jalisa Washington-Price as DCCC Chief of Staff, Ryan Thompson as Chief Digital Officer and Jared Smith as Communications Director

Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos announced her first round of senior staff hires for the 2020 election cycle.As House Democrats prepare to fortify and expand its new majority, Bustos announced that a veteran of Frontline campaigns and combat in Iraq, Allison Jaslow will lead the charge as the DCCC’s new Executive Director.

Joining her as the next Chief of Staff will be Jalisa Washington-Price, who previously served as the DCCC’s Director of Diversity.

Ryan Thompson, who was part of the team that raised more than $100 million last cycle, is being promoted to become the Chief Digital Officer at the DCCC.

And Jared Smith, who has served as Congresswoman Bustos’ Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director in her official office for the last three and a half years, will be the DCCC’s Director of Communications.

“If we want to make real progress in lowering the cost of health care, raising wages and cracking down on the corruption we’ve seen from Washington Republicans, we must protect the House in 2020,” Congresswoman Cheri Bustos said. “The DCCC did amazing work in 2018 to win 40 seats. Our challenge is to build on that progress, to fortify and expand our majority.

“America’s strength has always come from our diversity. That’s why I’m committed to building a leadership team that reflects the tremendous diversity of our House Democrats and our nation. With this first round of cornerstone hires, we are laying the foundation for a successful 2020 election cycle. I want to thank Allison, Jalisa, Ryan and Jared for being at the tip of the spear as we begin the difficult and exhilarating work of locking down our majority.”


Allison Jaslow – DCCC Executive Director

With a career that included boots-on-the ground in “Frontline” campaigns in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, Allison Jaslow signed up to be Congresswoman Bustos’ campaign manager in her first Congressional campaign in 2012.  Together, they defeated an incumbent Republican in Bustos’ “Red to Blue” campaign. Jaslow later served as the Chief of Staff in Bustos’ freshman Congressional office, where she helped her win re-election and lay the groundwork for long-term success in her swing seat.

A former Army Captain who served two tours of duty in the Iraq War, Jaslow most recently was Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the biggest nonprofit organization in the nation dedicated to supporting post-9/11 veterans. Her career also includes stints in the White House and U.S. Senate and as an advocate for advancing women in the workplace. Jaslow was also an original signatory on the TIME’S UP initiative.

Jaslow grew up in Arlington, Va., and graduated from the University of Central Missouri, where she attended on an Army ROTC scholarship.

“Allison Jaslow, as the next Executive Director of the DCCC, is quite literally a battle-tested leader who understands what it takes to win tough races, lockdown swing seats and run major organizations,” Bustos said. “Our goal is to develop and run a world class political operation. I am confident with today’s announcement, we will be on our way to doing just that.”

Jalisa Washington-Price – DCCC Chief of Staff

Jalisa Washington–Price has over a decade of campaign and government affairs experience. She served as Hillary Clinton’s South Carolina political director and Ohio regional political director in the 2016 Presidential election.

Most recently, she served as the National Director of the Office of Diversity for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). In this role, Washington-Price led all diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as the minority voter engagement strategy. She spearheaded the historic efforts to increase diversity in the areas of staffing and contracting at the DCCC. She developed and led efforts to recruit diverse political staffers, resulting in the highest minority hires in the history of the committee.

Washington-Price made strategic decisions as a part of the team that managed the DCCC’s historic $30 million minority voter engagement program. She also served as the liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Ryan Thompson – DCCC Chief Digital Officer

Ryan Thompson has been with the DCCC’s digital department for four years. Most recently, as Deputy Digital Director, he managed a $15 million email list-building budget that contributed to $106 million total raised for the committee before Election Day.

Thompson also served in a leadership role on the DCCC’s Year of Engagement, a $30 million program that mobilized communities of color across multiple voter contact streams. As a part of that, Thompson helped develop and execute a multi-million-dollar digital advertising program targeted toward more than 40 Congressional districts.

Jared Smith – DCCC Communications Director

For the last three and a half years, Jared Smith has served in Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ office as her Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director. In this role, he helped Congresswoman Bustos bring her brand of kitchen table politics to the national scene – while never losing sight of the hardworking families she serves in Illinois.

Smith also helped lead Bustos’ work as a Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), where Bustos and the DPCC co-chairs, Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and David Cicilline, developed the For the People agenda.

The For the People platform has widely been credited with bringing message discipline and a renewed focus on the challenges of everyday Americans to the House Democratic Caucus ahead of the 2018 election.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., and a graduate of Allegheny College with more than a decade of communications experience on campaigns and in Congress, Smith has also worked for U.S. Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan and Congressman Anthony Brown of Maryland.

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