Lawrence J. Haas – a former White House communications strategist and award-winning journalist – is Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, a columnist and author, and a public affairs consultant. He writes widely on foreign and domestic affairs, is quoted often in newspapers and magazines, and appears frequently on TV and radio. His latest book is The Kennedys in the World: How Jack, Bobby, and Ted Remade America’s Empire (Potomac Books, 2021). He also is a consulting producer for “Kennedy,” an eight-part documentary series on the life of JFK that the History Channel is airing around the 60th anniversary of his assassination, in fall 2023.
Haas comments frequently on public issues. He writes a foreign affairs column that appears every two weeks in a variety of outlets. Over the years, his pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, and scores of other newspapers. He has written articles for Newsweek, The National Interest, The American Interest, The Journal of International Security Affairs, DEMOCRATIYA, inFOCUS, Tax Notes, and other magazines.
Haas has appeared on CNN, FOX, CNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Al Hurra, NPR, the BBC, CTV, and many local TV and radio shows; spoken before hundreds of trade groups; served as a guest lecturer at the Government Affairs Institute and Legislative Studies Institute; and spoken at Yale University, Pennsylvania State University, George Washington University, the University of Missouri, University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, and Montgomery College. He has been a commentator on “MarketPlace,” a national business radio show, and he created and wrote “Public Affairs Perspective,” an on-line column for the global PR firm Manning Selvage & Lee.
Haas has written six books, contributed chapters to others, and ghostwritten still others. His latest book is The Kennedys in the World: How Jack, Bobby, and Ted Remade America’s Empire (2021). His book of 2016, Harry and Arthur: Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership That Created the Free World, was named a “Top Ten Nonfiction Book of the Year” by the Wall Street Journal. His other books include Sound the Trumpet: The United States and Human Rights Promotion (2012), two editions of The Washington Almanac (1992 and 1993), and Running on Empty: Bush, Congress and the Politics of a Bankrupt Government (1990). Haas contributed chapters to Governing to Win: Enhancing National Competitiveness Through New Policy and Operating Approaches (2012) and Getting it Done: A Guide for Government Executives (2009). He helped ghost-write From Red Tape to Results, Vice President Gore’s report on reinventing government (1993), and he ghost-wrote Gore’s Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less: Status Report (1994).
Haas moved to freelance writing after a career in journalism. He was a reporter for the Daily Register in Shrewsbury, NJ. He then served as the statehouse correspondent for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and statehouse bureau chief for United Press International (both in Harrisburg, PA) and as a budget and tax reporter for the Bond Buyer and National Journal (both in Washington, DC).
In 2011, Haas testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution on “The See Something, Say Something Act of 2011.” In 2009, he spoke at an international conference on Iran in London, sponsored by the Henry Jackson Society and the Legatum Institute. In 2007, he testified on Iran before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs.
For the Obama Transition Office in the winter of 2008 to 2009, Haas directed the process of securing U.S. Senate confirmation for President Obama’s nominees to the White House Office of Management and Budget, including Director Peter Orszag and Deputy Director Rob Nabors.
Haas was Communications Director and Press Secretary for Vice President Al Gore, serving as his spokesman; helping to craft his strategic message; overseeing his media interviews, speeches, and public announcements; editing his speeches and other materials; and managing a staff of 10.
Before that, he was Communications Director for the White House Office of Management and Budget, serving as spokesman for OMB and Directors Alice Rivlin and Frank Raines; speaking for the Clinton Administration in hundreds of TV, radio, and print interviews; structuring and editing the President’s annual federal budget; creating and writing the annual Citizen’s Guide to the Federal Budget; writing speeches; and editing other materials.
After his White House tenure, Haas served for two years as Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant to the President at Yale University, where he was a senior policy advisor, led Yale’s communications efforts, served as its principal spokesman, and supervised 20-25 employees and interns.
Public Affairs Consulting
From 2001 to 2005, Haas was Senior Vice President and Director of Public Affairs at Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L), one of the world’s largest public relations firms. There, he served as the senior counselor for clients confronting legislative and regulatory issues and as a strategic resource for clients throughout the firm. Since January 2006, he has worked as an independent public affairs consultant.
At MS&L and on his own, Haas has worked for such clients as America Speaks, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The American Interest, America West Airlines, Beer Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Brookings Institution, Booya Studios, Business Executives for National Security, Capital One, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chiron, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Federal Paper, Ford Foundation, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Government Affairs Institute, Hitachi Foundation, IBM, Imre Communications, Inova Health System, Institute for Global Therapeutics, Israel Project, James Lee Witt Associates, Jorge Scientific Corp., LeapFrog, Long Term Care Pharmacy Alliance, National Council of La Raza, New Century, Nike, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, Ostroff & Associates, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Procter & Gamble, Quadel Consulting, Royal Philips Electronics, Sanofi-Aventis, Tax Analysts, Teach for America, TenCate, U.S. Army, Verizon, and The Word Network.