CNN hires Jamal Simmons as political commentator
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Jamal Simmons is joining CNN as an on-air political commentator, the network announced today. Simmons joins CNN after most recently serving as deputy assistant to President Joe Biden and communications director to Vice President Kamala Harris.
Simmons has been at the nexus of politics and media for three decades. Prior to serving in the Biden-Harris White House, he was a political contributor for CBS News and NPR. Prior to CBS, he hosted digital interviews for Hill TV with political leaders and celebrities. Simmons joined Hill TV from the Raben Group, where he advised corporate, political and foundation leaders for nearly a decade.
During the 2008 presidential primaries Simmons was a prominent Obama campaign surrogate and senior advisor to the Democratic National Committee. Before that, he was a press secretary for two presidential primary campaigns, communications director for a U.S. Senate race and managed the national state media operation for Gore-Lieberman 2000. He also served as a Gore spokesman in West Palm Beach during the Florida recount.
Simmons got his start on Bill Clinton’s 1992 traveling campaign staff and set up events around the world for the Clinton White House. He was also an assistant to U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. In those roles, he represented the U.S. government in 15 countries including Bosnia, Ukraine, Haiti and China.
Simmons has written opinion pieces for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New York Times. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation Board (honorary). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
Simmons will be based in New York City.