Senior Adviser for Data, Republican National Committee
GOP data guru
Industry: Political consulting
Key previous position: Trump White House
Education: George Washington
Notable fact: St. Louis Cardinals fan
Most people who run afoul of the president don’t leave their White House jobs showered with public praise from the president’s staff and headed toward enhanced clout and influence. Katie Walsh, as she has proven many times, is the exception.
Walsh spent only 69 days as President Trump’s deputy chief of staff before leaving the job on March 30, 2017, amid stories that the president saw her as a member of the Republican establishment that he had run against. Two and a half years later, in October 2019, she found her “broad influence across the party” cited in a Washington Post story about the critical work she is doing to bring about Trump’s reelection.
The president still harbors doubts about Walsh. But those doubts are not shared by his inner circle, who see her as one of the most effective party operatives. Nor does her official title as senior adviser on data to the Republican National Committee capture her full contributions to the party or the Trump campaign.
Presidential aide Jared Kushner calls her “one of the unsung heroes” of the Trump campaign. She is, to many top Republicans, still the person you call when you have a problem. When the White House couldn’t sell its health care plan in 2017, then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said, “No one can fix this problem better than Katie Walsh.”
Steve Bannon, the bane of the Establishment, also is a fan, once calling her “a vital link that pulls things together and makes things happen.” To Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, one of her secrets is working behind the scenes and not caring who gets credit. “She prefers to keep her head down, and I think that distinguishes her from a lot of people in this town,” Short told National Journal. She understands, he said, that going on TV “provides a short-term benefit but it doesn’t provide for the long-term relationships that are so needed.”
—George E. Condon Jr.