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Johanna Maska  and  Alyssa Farah

Johanna Maska and Alyssa Farah

Bridging the Divide


Johanna Maska served as President Barack Obama’s Director of Press Advance, setting the stage for the historic nomination and White House tenure. Maska worked with the Obama campaign from the early days of the Iowa Caucus 2007 and onward to the White House until 2015, traveling with him to 42 countries, orchestrating APEC, NATO, G8 Summits among other international engagements. Maska now serves as CEO of Global Situation Room®, a public affairs firm specializing in communications, including risk and reputation management. Read More >

Maska joined fellow Obama alumnae Alejandra Campoverdi and Darienne Page in August to launch Pod is a Woman with Dr. Jill Biden as the inaugural guest. Pod is a Woman was the first female all-Obama Alum podcast in Cadence13’s lineup. Cadence13 is the podcast company behind Pod Save America, Yang Speaks, and Campaign HQ with David Plouffe. Maska is a regular guest on Fox News and has hosted Outnumbered

Maska is originally from Galesburg, Illinois — the manufacturing town President Obama spoke of in the 2004 Democratic Convention speech. Maska graduated from the University of Kansas and worked in midwestern politics. Maska now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Henry Jackson and son Hugh, who she delivered 7 weeks before she orchestrated President Obama’s live address to the nation from Afghanistan on the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

Alyssa Farah is a communications strategist and Founding Partner of &Partners, a boutique corporate consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Farah is the only person to have served as the top spokesperson for the President, Vice President and Secretary of Defense.

From March 2020-December 2020, Farah served as White House Communications Director and Assistant to the President. She was appointed to the role during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to oversee the messaging strategy around Operation Warp Speed, the private-public partnership to get a vaccine to market in record time.

Prior to that, Farah served as the Press Secretary for the Department of Defense and Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. She was the youngest person in history to serve as the top spokesperson for the Pentagon. During her tenure, she was the primary traveling spokesperson for the Secretary of Defense and accompanied him on key foreign travel including a historic visit to Afghanistan to announce peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban. She also managed crisis communications, including communicating vital information to the public and global community during attacks on U.S. military bases and a U.S. Embassy. She also advised General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on communications matters and preparation for testimony on Capitol Hill.

Previously, Farah served as Press Secretary for Vice President Mike Pence from 2017-2019, accompanying him on numerous international trips including the Munich Security Conference and ASEAN Summit, where she served as part of the official U.S. Diplomatic Delegations. She was his primary on the record spokesperson and liaison to the national media.

Prior to her time with the Vice President, Farah was a senior communications aide on Capitol Hill, advising members of Congress on key legislative battles between 2013-2017. Farah is of Lebanese and Syrian descent and is passionate about advancing women in political leadership. Farah is the recipient of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s award for Distinguished Public Service.

Farah was the first and most senior former White House official to denounce the January 6th attack on the Capitol, leading to a wave of Cabinet-level resignations and denunciations. She’s emerged as a leading voice on the future of the Republican Party and restoring bipartisanship. Farah is also co-founder of the Bipartisan Cause for a Cure, a fundraising initiative through the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Bridging the Divide

Honest, candid, reflective, and intelligent conversation from two forward-looking professionals. From the stories behind the headlines, to the ones you’ve never heard of...Farah and Maska will deliver the serious and light-hearted alike, with class and integrity. With deep ties to the White House & Capitol Hill they are in a unique position to give  insight on where things are heading.