David Axelrod served as Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and to the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition, as well as Senior Strategist to Barack Obama's historic campaign for the presidency in 2008 and his reelection in 2012. Today he serves as director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and as a Senior Political Commentator for CNN. He is also the host of The Axe Files, a top-rated podcast jointly produced by CNN and his institute. His recent memoir, “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics”, is a New York Times bestseller. During his time at the White House, Axelrod was the Administration's most frequent presence on influential Sunday talk shows including NBC’s “Meet the Press”, ABC’s “This Week”, CBS’s “Face the Nation”, “FOX News Sunday” and CNN’s “State of the Union.” He also appeared several times on “The Tonight Show”, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
Axelrod founded the Chicago consulting firm AKPD Message and Media in 1985, and was senior partner there until 2008. At AKPD, he managed media strategy and communications for more than 150 campaigns, with a focus on progressive candidates and causes. He was recently inducted into The American Association of Political Consultants’ Hall of Fame. Before entering politics in 1984, Axelrod spent eight years as a reporter for The Chicago Tribune, where he covered national, state and local politics. In 1981, he became the youngest political writer and columnist in the paper's history. He also served as the Tribune's City Hall bureau chief. Active in charitable work in Chicago, Axelrod has supported Special Olympics and Misericordia. In 1998, he and his wife, Susan, helped found Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), which has raised over $32 million for scientists searching for a cure.
Axelrod graduated from Stuyvesant High School and the University of Chicago. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and has lectured on political media at Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania.