Partner and CEO
Dan Kanninen has spent more than 15 years in influential positions at all levels of government and politics, playing key roles in policy making, campaigns, and political management. He has advised presidential candidates, cabinet members, governors, major private sector CEOs, nonprofits and coalitions, and foreign heads of state. He is a Partner at the Smoot Tewes Group.
He played a critical role in President Obama’s 2008 election as the State Director in Wisconsin after working in leadership positions in Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina during the primaries. Dan served the re-elect by overseeing the northeastern United States (a nine state, $20 million operation including the critical battlegrounds of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania) from Chicago headquarters before leading the Virginia operation as Senior Advisor, turning that state blue for just the second time since 1964.
In between campaign stints, Dan served as the White House Liaison at EPA, and as former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle’s Legislative Director. In that role, he was the lead negotiator of the $62 billion state budget bill, the first on-time budget in more than three decades. Prior to that, he spent six years as Chief of Staff to a veteran Wisconsin state lawmaker serving on the budget committee.
In the 2016 cycle, Dan was tapped to lead the North Carolina operation for the Clinton Campaign over the final four months as Senior Advisor. In that capacity, Dan managed a team of more than 400 staff in what was described by MSNBC analyst Chuck Todd as the “super battleground” of the cycle.
Dan is an established political voice in the beltway, featured frequently on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and Fox Business, as well as being on the record in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Politico. Additionally, Dan has been featured recently on international outlets such as Canada’s CTV and Al Jazeera English, a network reaching more than 300 million homes worldwide.
An avid Badger fan, Dan studied political science at the University of Wisconsin where he was a four-time Collegiate Mock Trial All-American.