Former Obama digital leader brings digital transformation consulting, digital marketing and technology expertise
Edelman has named former Obama administration digital leader Tom Cochran as general manager for Digital and Integrated Marketing (D+IM) in its Washington, D.C. office, effective October 29, 2018. Cochran will lead the D+IM practice, collaborating across the full scope of offerings in the Washington office. He will report to Lisa Ross, president of Edelman’s Washington, D.C. office.
Cochran will have oversight of a digital and integrated marketing team comprised of strategy, planning, creative and social content specialists, along with paid media, digital analytics, technology, development, production, operations, media and editorial experts.
“Tom has deep background and insight on how Washington works. He understands the importance of maintaining a keen political balance in order to develop successful strategies at the intersection of the digital revolution, emerging technologies and the media,” said Ross. “He is uniquely positioned to help Edelman and our clients navigate well into the future.”
At the White House, Cochran ran digital technology powering WhiteHouse.gov to amplify President Obama’s message, and led the team that built the 'We the People' petitions platform. He also ran global public diplomacy platforms for the U.S. Department of State, emphasizing digital modernization, a cloud-first approach and the power of relationships and networks to advance U.S. foreign policy abroad.
Cochran has the distinction of being the first person hired by Blue State Digital, becoming part of the team that conceived and pioneered the role of digital in political campaigns. He spent a few years engineering the early applications that grew into the robust digital platform that helped President Obama raise $1.2 billion online in two election cycles. Earlier in his career, he was the lead engineer and inventor on a content and feedback management system awarded a U.S. patent.
Following his work in the Obama administration, Cochran served as an adjunct professor at American University and ran his own consultancy, speaking to international audiences about how to differentiate digital from IT, and gain competitive advantage through emerging technologies and the importance of embracing a “digital-first" culture. He has also been a contributing writer on digital transformation, emerging technologies and data strategies for outlets including Recode, CityLab, Harvard Business Review and The Washington Post.
“I am thrilled to have earned the right to lead the incredibly talented Edelman D+IM team. Together, we’ll provide world-class strategic counsel and campaign implementation for some of the biggest clients and issues of the day,” said Cochran. “I look forward to partnering with clients as they engage in an ever-evolving media and digital world.”
In the private sector, he ran the government business development practice as the chief digital strategist and vice president of public sector at Acquia, the leading cloud provider of digital experience management platforms. He also served as the chief technology officer for Atlantic Media, publisher of The Atlantic, Quartz, GovExec and National Journal brands.
Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organizations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Among its many honors, the firm was awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR, named one of 2018 “Agencies to Watch” by Advertising Age and “Global Agency of the Year” by both the Holmes Report and PRWeek, and cited five times by Glassdoor as one of the “Best Places to Work.” Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).