Published: May 31, 2024

Veteran public affairs and government affairs strategist joins former Obama aide Bill Burton’s firm as Senior Vice President Catlett will help expand the firm’s Washington D.C. office

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, Bryson Gillette, an award-winning, minority-owned strategic communications, public affairs and political firm, announced the addition of public affairs leader Damara Catlett. Catlett joins as Senior Vice President and will help expand the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. 

With the addition of the uniquely talented Damara to our diverse and dynamic team, we will be able to expand and scale up the incredible work that has already made us one of the fastest growing public affairs firms in the country,” said Bill Burton, who served as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House, founded the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, and has advised world leaders, some of the nation’s largest brands, and nonprofits big and small. “Damara brings a breadth and depth of expertise that will help us deliver outstanding results for a wide range of clients, from social justice advocates to those working to make technology safer.” 

Previously a principal at The Raben Group, Catlett brings nearly two decades of expertise in civil rights advocacy, tech policy, media, civic engagement, and spearheading winning issue campaigns. Her many professional accomplishments include:

  • Working with Airbnb during its nascent years to build its strategy around domestic lobbying, strategic communications, and partner engagement
  • Spearheading efforts for We Must Count, a campaign that drew national attention to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, resulting in the creation of the first of its kind health data equity tracker 
  • Helping to manage the Second Chance on Shoot First campaign, which brought national awareness to Stand Your Ground laws following the shooting of Trayvon Martin
  • Leading a multi-state civic engagement campaign for the National Urban League that reached over 350,000 African American voters 

Catlett got her start managing voter contact campaigns for nonprofits, political party organizations, and candidates, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She is a board member of the Voter Participation Center, a member of the National Institute for Lobbying Ethics’s AI Task Force, an advisory board member for the Center for Democracy and Technology, was a New Leaders Council Institute Fellow, and served on the inaugural Kennedy Center Culture Caucus, where she worked with afrofuturists forecasting emerging tech policy issues through the arts. 

Based in California and Washington, D.C., Bryson Gillette is an intentionally diverse team whose leadership team is about 60% people of color and 65% women. Bryson Gillette won PRovoke Media’s 2022 Best North America Public Affairs Campaign, 2022 North America New PR Agency of the Year, and 2022 Global New Agency of the Year.

Bryson Gillette has spearheaded communications for some of America’s leading causes and organizations, including: