President, Engage; technologist; presidential campaign vet
Patrick Ruffini is a political strategist whose work has helped define the convergence of new media and politics for more than a decade.
Ruffini is currently a partner at Engage, a political media firm he founded in 2007. In this role, he helps political and public affairs clients navigate the seismic shifts in today’s media landscape from the top-down broadcast model to an open and participatory online ecosystem. Shortly after founding the firm, Ruffini was recognized by Campaigns and Elections’ Politics magazine as a Rising Star in American politics in 2008.
From 2005 to 2007, Ruffini served as eCampaign Director at the Republican National Committee. As part of the RNC Chairman’s leadership team, Ruffini worked to maximize adoption of new media throughout the Republican Party, producing record online fundraising, architecting best-in-class online organizing tools, and spearheading the party’s blog and social media strategy. Under Ruffini’s leadership, the RNC’s Web traffic led that of the Democratic National Committee for 11 out of 12 months in an otherwise challenging 2006 election year according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
In the 2004 election, Ruffini served as webmaster for Bush-Cheney ’04, managing day-to-day operations on the campaign’s Web site and helping oversee development of the grassroots tools that mobilized an army of 1.4 million campaign volunteers. Having come to the campaign with experience as an early political blogger, Ruffini launched and ran the campaign’s blog — the first ever affiliated with an incumbent President — and led rapid response outreach to the then-burgeoning political blogosphere.
Other professional highlights include an earlier tenure at the RNC from 2002-03, and his work for the American Enterprise Institute in 2001-02.
Beyond his work in politics, Ruffini is also well known as a leading political blogger. Ruffini began blogging in 2001 when the medium was still in its infancy, and has been a front-page contributor for Red State and Townhall.com. In 2008, he co-founded The Next Right, a forum for rising young leaders on the right shaping the future of the conservative movement.
Ruffini’s online presence is defined by a unique blend of analysis, advocacy, and activism. Immediately following the 2008 election, Ruffini co-authored the Rebuild the Party platform for Republican renewal that has attracted the support of over 10,000 online activists and five of the six candidates in the 2009 election for RNC Chairman.
An Atlantic profile published in 2008 concluded that Ruffini “looks poised to become one of the most influential Republican political strategists of his generation.” He has authored a monthly “Digital Democracy” column for Townhall magazine, written for National Review, and appeared as a political analyst on Fox News Channel and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. Ruffini’s analysis of emerging political trends has also appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, PBS MediaShift, and Newsweek.
Ruffini is a 2000 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and currently resides in the Washington, D.C. suburbs with his wife and adorable twin daughters.