FRANKLIN — The country’s new president has an area native to thank for helping get him to the White House.
President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, 44, is a native of Franklin, graduate of Franklin High School, and is being called the unsung hero of the presidential campaign.
O’Malley Dillon is the first woman to manage a winning Democratic presidential campaign, though she has managed to keep a low profile.
Biden hired her in March as his new campaign manager in a shake-up of top-level campaign staff.
She had previously served as the campaign manager for the Beto O’Rourke 2020 presidential campaign.
A 1998 Tufts graduate, O’Malley Dillon’s first role in politics was answering phones for Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger. She then became a field organizer and regional field director for the Al Gore 2000 presidential campaign.
She worked on many other campaigns, including as deputy campaign manager for John Edwards 2008 presidential run and battleground states director for Barack Obama’s initial presidential bid.
After Obama’s election, she worked on the presidential transition as associate director of personnel, and then was hired as the executive director of the Democratic National Committee.
O’Malley Dillon joined Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign as deputy campaign manager when he defeated Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, after which she co-founded a political consulting/marketing firm whose work included Canada.
Precision Strategies assisted on the ACLU campaign for prison reform in 2016, defeated Facebook’s algorithm to help Democratic candidates in the 2018 mid-term elections, and helped organize the nationwide March for Our Lives in 2018 that saw high-schoolers leave class to demand gun reform.
Other clients of the firm included General Electric, Planned Parenthood, IBM, YouTube, Bank of America and the National Football League.
And after the 2016 presidential election, she was chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission.
Considered a pioneer in using data analytics, O’Malley Dillon helped enhance information sharing between Democratic campaigns and allies.
The latter work is widely credited with putting the Democratic Party on the same footing as the Republicans.
Inside Democratic circles, O’Malley Dillon has long been known for her “discipline, organizational skills and strategic sense,” according to The Washington Post.
O’Malley Dillon is married with three children, including twin daughters born a week after the 2012 election, and she and her family live in Washington, D.C.
Her parents were educators in Franklin. Her mother Katherine was a second-grade teacher at Oak Street Elementary School and her father Kevin was an assistant principal at Franklin High School who then became head of Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School for six years.