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© 2018 by Grayside Media Group

Few individuals can say that they have been living and breathing politics in the nation’s capitol from the moment they were born. As a fifth-generation native Washingtonian, and a former national political reporter, Brian’s knowledge and experience with local and federal Washington is extensive and unparalleled.

 

His political acumen, combined with an energetic and boundless curiosity, draw Brian to the most difficult and challenging situations, especially crisis communications. He served as Director of Communications for the late D.C. Councilmember (Ward 1) Jim Graham, whose chief of staff was arrested and later sent to prison on federal corruption charges. During the federal investigation, Brian successfully managed the onslaught of media coverage and kept the bribery scandal from derailing Graham’s political career; Graham won his bid for re-election.
 

Brian is also an expert on how to prep for public appearances, whether they are public testimony before a government body or television and radio appearances. He is a former co-host of a weekly political show on satellite radio, Capitol Hill Blues. He has also been a regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC and C-SPAN to discuss issues such as voting rights and national elections. He is an in-demand speaker and has moderated panels on national politics and served as a panelist discussing television appearance prep and tips at the National Association of Black Journalists 2017 convention.


At the Washington Times, he was a editorial writer, local reporter and national political reporter. He wrote award-winning stories about DC’s automated traffic cameras, and covered civil rights and voting rights, the federal budget, and the 2008 presidential campaigns of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. He graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School and the University of Delaware, where he received degrees in political science, English, and African-American studies. He also earned a certificate in multimedia communications from Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.

 

He lives in his native Washington with his wife Theola and their four children, three sons and finally, a daughter.

Brian DeBose, Co-Founder and Partner

THE

TEAM

Theola DeBose, Co-Founder and Partner

Theola grew up listening to her parents tell stories about their native Haiti. As a child, she yearned to understand how a place she had never seen had such a large influence over her childhood. That was the beginning of her curiosity and interest in the power of storytelling.

 

She is an innovative leader with a strategic approach to communications and engagement that is people-focused -- whether it’s moving an audience to action or coaching principals to perform under pressure. She served as a political appointee in the administration of President Barack Obama as Director of Communications at the National Endowment for the Humanities. At NEH, she led the teams responsible for communicating the value of the humanities to media, and across all of the agency’s print and digital platforms. She led national communications campaigns about NEH funding that supported books by public scholars, and grants to influence how graduate programs prepare Ph.D. students for non-academic careers. She promoted the agency’s funding support for social impact video games, including at the Games for Change Festival, and grew NEH’s digital influence by expanding to new social media platforms. As agency spokesperson during proposed 2017 budget cuts, she placed key messages from top agency leadership in The New York Times.

Theola is also an experienced event manager who has worked with celebrities and VIPs through multiple high-profile events: two White House National Humanities Medal ceremonies, and three Jefferson Lectures in the Humanities, held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC that drew thousands of public attendees.

 

As a daughter of immigrant parents who learned English through community college and public universities, she is passionate about the role of strategic communications in support of education and edtech companies. She has presented at national education conferences such as the National Charter School Conference and speaks to nonprofits and other audiences about communications strategy. As the Director of Communications for the D.C. Public Charter School Board, the city’s public charter authorizing body, she pioneered a charter school communications network to promote synergy and collaboration on media strategy and community and legislative outreach.

 

She spent more than a decade as a staff writer at The Washington Post, where she covered local education, the earthquake in Haiti (while five months pregnant), and the Iraq War -- earning an award from the National Association of Black Journalists for her Iraq coverage.

 

Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised there and on Long Island, she earned a degree in religion from Princeton University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Washington, DC -- where she is still searching for a New York bagel -- with her husband Brian, three sons and one daughter.