John Del Cecato has worked at the highest levels of Democratic politics for 25 years.
Since joining AKPD in 2001, Del Cecato has been at the center of the company’s creative work – offering his expertise in message development, speechwriting, debate preparation, earned media strategy, and television and radio ad production to candidates for federal, state, and municipal office.
At AKPD Message & Media, Del Cecato has helped devise media and communications strategies for clients such as Barack Obama, Pete Buttigieg, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther, and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
In 2008 and 2012, Del Cecato worked closely with David Axelrod in the areas of communications strategy and message development for the Obama presidential campaign. Most notably, Del Cecato was responsible for writing, directing, and producing many of Obama’s nationally broadcast television ads – including several spots that independent research found to be the most effective of the presidential campaign. Del Cecato has played a similar role on the insurgent 2020 presidential campaign of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Del Cecato has also helped craft successful messages for organizations such as the international AFL-CIO, the California Working Families Party, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC’s) successful campaign to retake the House majority in 2006. His award-winning commercials reflect a unique ad-making style, with rich biographical storytelling, compelling interviews, memorable graphical treatments, unique sound editing, and pitch-perfect response and comparative messaging.
Before his work at AKPD, Del Cecato graduated with honors from Northwestern University, majoring in communications and political science. He has lectured on the political process at the University of Virginia, George Washington University, Yale University, Columbia University, Tufts University, Hunter College, the University of Pennsylvania, ESADE Business and Law School (Madrid), and his alma mater NU. Before joining Axelrod in 2001, Del Cecato served as communications director for New York City mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer. He was the DCCC’s national spokesman in the 1999-2000 election cycle.
Del Cecato was Iowa Democratic Party communications director during Tom Vilsack’s (D-IA) historic 1998 gubernatorial campaign, and he served as press secretary to U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) during the congressman’s first term. Del Cecato cut his political teeth as an intern to then-House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO), serving as part of the Gephardt team for seven years.