John Buckley to join Subject Matter as CEO

John Buckley to join Subject Matter as CEO


(Washington, DC)—Subject Matter, the integrated communications, government affairs, and marketing firm today announced that John Buckley, formerly with The Harbour Group, would become its first Chief Executive Officer. A leading communications executive with a national profile, Buckley brings more than 35 years of political, corporate, and agency experience to his new position.

“John adds an important element to our growth plan,” said Subject Matter partner Dan Sallick. “After spending the first year integrating our firms, this is the right moment to bring in a leader with vision and unquestioned experience to help us plan and manage the next phase of our expansion. John has always been ahead of the curve in thinking about the future of communications and advertising.”

“John Buckley is a recognized innovator in the development of integrated marketing strategies, and has run sophisticated communications operations for companies, agencies, and presidential campaigns,” said Subject Matter partner Steve Elmendorf. “His perspective is invaluable to Subject Matter because it’s informed by his experience in both political and corporate communications. And bringing in someone to lead our team who is so widely respected within our community for both his integrity and insight will be of tremendous benefit to the firm and our clients.”

“There are few independent firms of this size that offer so much under one brand. Advertising, media engagement, digital strategy, content creation and government relations – it’s an enormously powerful list of services that’s so essential, because no single communications tactic or tool can carry the day,” said Buckley. “And I know – from first-hand experience as a client – that they are committed to a nimble and customized response that is challenging for those larger firms where you typically find this many services. I’m enormously excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for Subject Matter.”

Subject Matter was formed in 2015, the result of a merger between the strategic communications firm Home Front Communications and the government relations practice of Elmendorf | Ryan. This announcement is another milestone in the evolution of a company that is being molded to address the public affairs challenges of the future. Subject Matter will relocate to new office space in 2017. Subject Matter’s founding partners are Steve Elmendorf, Jimmy Ryan, Paul Frick and Dan Sallick.

John Buckley was most recently at The Harbour Group, a boutique strategic communications agency, where he served as a managing director since 2008. He has run communications operations in Washington since the 1980s, having been deputy press secretary to Reagan-Bush ’84, and subsequently press secretary to Jack Kemp both in Congress and his 1988 presidential campaign. John’s corporate strategic communications experience began in 1989 when he joined Robinson, Lake, Lerer & Montgomery. From 1991 to 2001 he was senior vice president – communications at Fannie Mae, developing communications programs that have been widely imitated. In 1996, while on leave from Fannie Mae, he was communications director for Senator Bob Dole’s campaign for president. From 2002 to 2007, John was executive vice president for communications at AOL, helping the Internet pioneer navigate through profound business challenges while repositioning itself and launching dozens of new products.