Dan Shomon held the posts of Campaign Manager and Political Director for Senator Barack Obama. Shomon served as an advisor and aide to Obama for over nine years from January 1997 to May 2006. Shomon traveled over 5,000 miles alone with Obama during the time and was one of his key, longtime political strategists.
Shomon is CEO of Chicago-based Dan Shomon Inc. He has over 25 years of professional experience in government relations, international business development, public relations, government management, political campaign management, public relations, grassroots organizing and journalism. Full-time associates at the firm have similar government and political experience. The firm’s clients include international Fortune 500 companies, municipalities and associations. Clients have received more than $150 million in federal, state and local grant, loan and bond funding for their projects while he represented them. Shomon has also done significant work in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, especially Serbia and Romania.
Shomon has been quoted about Obama on BBC TV, CNN, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the New Yorker, National Public Radio and the Washington Post. A book just released called "Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots" about the 2000 Obama campaign for Congress says, "Without Dan Shomon, President Barack Obama would not be President Barack Obama today."
Shomon began serving as an aide to Obama when he was a staff person for Illinois Senate Democratic Leader Emil Jones. Shomon was first assigned by Leader Jones in January 1997 to coordinate Obama's press and legislative work. He held that position until August 1999. During that time, Shomon accompanied Obama on a one-week trip to Southern Illinois in 1997 that was prominently featured in Obama's book "Audacity of Hope." As a staff aide, Shomon worked on many issues including universal health care.
In August 1999, Shomon was named Campaign Manager for Obama for Congress 2000 in Obama's race for the 1st Congressional District. Shomon held that post until Obama was defeated by incumbent Congressman Bobby Rush in March 2000. A book by John Presta released about that campaign -- “Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots” -- said “Obama would not be president without Shomon.”
Shomon continued to serve as an advisor to Obama until July 2002 when he was named Campaign Manager for Obama's exploratory campaign for U.S. Senate. In January 2003, Obama announced his candidacy for U.S. Senator. In July 2003 Shomon was named Political Director for Obama for Illinois and served in that role until May 2006.
In the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate, Shomon coordinated Obama's announcement for U.S. Senator in January 2003. Shomon was also a key member of the press and issues management team for Obama and oversaw strategy and field operations for 97 of Illinois' 102 counties. After Obama was sworn in as U.S. Senator Shomon serviced for 18 months as his chief Illinois political advisor with the title of Political Director, working as a liaison between Obama's campaign committee and other Illinois politicians.
Shomon worked in the State Senate from January 1995 until August 1999, rising to the position of Assistant Director of Research and Communications, where he helped oversee over 20 employees. Prior to that, Shomon was Director of Policy and Communications for State Treasurer, now Governor, Pat Quinn from September 1993 until January 1995, where he coordinated statewide public education and media campaigns for an Illinois constitutional officer. The State Treasurer invests over $10 billion each year.
From March 1992 until September 1993, Shomon was Manager, Public Information Office, for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Shomon coordinated media response and public relations efforts for the 1,000 person agency and oversaw a staff of nine people.
Shomon served as a full-time journalist for nearly five years before working in government. From September 1989 to March 1992 he was Bureau Manager for United Press International in Springfield, Illinois, where he coordinated government and political coverage for the wire service for over 75 Illinois newspaper and broadcast clients.
Shomon also worked as Beaumont, Texas Bureau Manager for UPI from August 1988 to September 1989. He was full-time Military Reporter for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper from January 1988 to August 1988. From May 1987 to January 1987, he was a newsman for UPI in Dallas. In 1986-87 he worked as an Intern Reporter for the Dallas Morning News and the St. Petersburg Times in their Washington, D.C. bureaus.
Shomon earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in May 1987. In May 2008, he received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois.
Shomon lives on Chicago’s North Side and is active in many charitable and volunteer efforts. In 2011, Shomon was nominated for Man of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Chicago and he raised more than $35,000 for the organization. He also does volunteer work for the Belle Center and the Neumann Family Services, both Chicago organizations that help people with developmental disabilities. Shomon is also President of the 4231 North Kedzie Condominium Association in Chicago.