Ballard Media Group


The best way to handle a rapidly evolving news cycle is to understand where it heads next, prepare for challenges and seize the right opportunities to drive your message.

Your voice is our voice.


With 24/7 cable news, social media and media scrutiny of industry on the rise, a company or organization’s brand and public policy outcomes have never been more at risk. In this environment, businesses cannot rely on stale economic data or rote business language to explain their actions. They must persuasively make the case and fight for a desired outcome with a compelling narrative. The professionals at Ballard Media Group understand this climate, have navigated it successfully and can guide your organization through this new and unpredictable terrain. A customized, authentic and tested approach that frames your story on your terms will place you on the right side of a challenging media landscape.

Our core Strategic Communications capabilities include:

  • Media and Press Relations
  • Digital and Social Media Campaigns
  • Reputation Management
  • Coalition Building and Grassroots
  • Issue Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Strategic Corporate Communications
  • Paid Media
RAJ SHAH
Partner / Chair, Strategic Communications Practice
WASHINGTON DC

RAJ SHAH

Raj Shah has over a dozen years of experience at the highest levels of national politics, issue advocacy and public affairs. Described by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl as “one of the Trump administration’s most effective communicators,” Shah oversaw strategy and communications for the White House’s successful effort to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Serving as the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Shah briefed the press, handled crisis communications and policy rollouts, and took a leading role in preparing the President and senior officials for media appearances. As Axios’s Jonathan Swan put it, “Shah is one of the most highly regarded operatives in the White House Press shop.” He also served as White House Deputy Communications Director, where Fox News said he “made himself invaluable to the White House staff for his political research skills.”

Prior to joining the White House, Shah served as Research Director and Deputy Communications Director at the Republican National Committee as the party retook the White House and held both houses of Congress. Shah also co-founded a leading political consulting firm and served as a Senior Public Policy Specialist at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he worked with legal teams to help clients face politically sensitive congressional investigations.

Shah was named to the POLITICO Playbook “New Guard” Power List and has been featured in C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” series. The son of proud immigrants, Shah was included on the National Association of Asian Pacifics in Politics and Public Affairs (NAAPPPA) “40 under 40” list. He grew up in Connecticut and attended Cornell University.

JAMES “JAMIE” RUBIN
Partner / Co-Chair, Strategic Communications Practice
WASHINGTON DC

JAMES “JAMIE” RUBIN

James P. Rubin has worked for thirty three years, in and out of government, in the field of international affairs and U.S. foreign policy as a practioner, commentator, professor and broadcaster.

Mr. Rubin was Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs under President Bill Clinton and Chief Spokesman for Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright (1997 – 2000). In 1999, he also acted as a special negotiator to secure the demobilization of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Mr. Rubin is currently a Contributing Editor at Politico, writing regular columns on world affairs. Prior to that he was Senior Media Adviser for National Security Affairs in New York City for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. While in London from 2012 to 2016, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University’s Rothermere American Institute, wrote a weekly foreign affairs column for the Sunday Times and co-chaired a high-level panel on Extending American Power for the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

From 2008 to 2012 he worked in New York as: A Commissioner of the Port Authority and Counselor to Governor Andrew Cuomo (2008-2010); an adjunct professor at Columbia University (2008 to 2010); and Co-Executive Editor for the launch of Bloomberg View (2011).

Living in London from 2000 to 2008, Mr. Rubin worked as an Anchor and Commentator for SKY News, a Visiting Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, a partner in the Brunswick Group – a financial advisory firm and co-anchor of the PBS series Wide Angle.

During the 2008 election, Mr. Rubin represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign in debates and TV appearances. In 2004, he was Senior Adviser for National Security for the Kerry/Edwards Campaign, and in 1996, he was Director of Foreign Policy for Clinton/Gore.

Previously, he served as Senior Adviser and Spokesman for the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Madeleine K. Albright (1993-1996), Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (1989-1993, and Research Director for the nonpartisan Arms Control Association. (1985-1989).

In 1998, Mr. Rubin was the recipient of Columbia University’s John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement. In 2000, he received the State Department’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Rubin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (1982) and a Masters in International Affairs (1984) from Columbia University.

He has written extensively for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Politico, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and Newsweek, and is a frequent analyst and commentator for CNN, BBC, MSNBC and other TV and Radio outlets.

SUSIE WILES
MANAGING PARTNER
WASHINGTON DC, JACKSONVILLE

SUSIE WILES

With a distinguished professional history in government relations, politics and public affairs, Susie Wiles has more than two decades of political insight. As a public affairs/media relations professional, Susie brings this expertise to Ballard Partners’ client portfolio in Florida and now in the nation’s Capitol. Her record of success has been recognized nationally, receiving numerous awards in the fields of political leadership and communications.

Most recently, Susie was Florida’s Senior Strategist for the Donald J. Trump campaign. Florida, the largest of the swing states in the 2016 cycle, was a winning state for Trump/Pence. She also was appointed Florida State Co-Chairman in October, 2015. Susie was Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman’s first national campaign manager and worked to recruit the team and develop early-stage processes before a departure after six months and in 2010, Susie served as campaign manager for Florida Governor Rick Scott’s successful election. She subsequently held a senior role in Governor Scott’s transition. Her national political experience includes service for President Ronald Reagan, former Congressmen Jack F. Kemp and Tillie Fowler and she held a senior role at the Department of Labor. Susie also previously served as co-chairman of the McCain-Palin 2008 campaign in Duval County and as a Transition Team member for former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Susie’s political and communications experience is well-rooted in Jacksonville and throughout Florida. Her understanding of the way local government works is unparalleled.

With a history in managing a variety of complex campaigns and initiatives, Susie’s private practice experience has led her to work with many of Florida’s most important corporations. Susie previously represented clients in the areas of environmental permitting, education, insurance, grassroots activism, water services and railroads.

Electoral politics is never too far from Susie’s work and she has enjoyed successes in Florida and across the country.

JUSTIN SAYFIE
PARTNER
WASHINGTON DC

JUSTIN SAYFIE

Justin Sayfie is a government relations consultant, digital entrepreneur and attorney. Justin previously served as the spokesman and a top policy advisor for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In 2018, he was appointed by President Donald J. Trump to serve as a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, where he previously served in the administration of President George W. Bush from 2007-2009. In this role, Justin participates in the selection of White House Fellows and oversee the nation’s top leadership development program. Additionally, in 2005, Justin was appointed by U.S. Senator Mel Martinez as Chairman of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the Southern District of Florida, where he led the initial nominating process for Federal Judges and U.S. Attorneys in South Florida.

He appears regularly as a political commentator on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Justin has also published Florida’s leading political news site and mobile app, Sayfie Review, since 2002.

In 2007, Justin served as a delegate for the American Council on Germany’s Young Leader Conference in Berlin and Munich, and in 2008 he served as a delegate in the American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leader’s Conference in Geneva. He remains active in both organizations.

Sayfie received his bachelor’s degree in American Government from Georgetown University, and his juris doctor, cum laude, from the University of Miami.

ANA CRUZ
MANAGING PARTNER
TAMPA BAY

ANA CRUZ

Ana Cruz currently manages Ballard Partners’ Tampa practice. She brings over 20 years of experience in lobbying, strategic communications and political consulting to the firm. During her career, Ana has represented a wide array of clients throughout Central Florida in both the private and the public sectors and has successfully advocated for several high profile national and Florida-based clients.

Ana has extensive legislative knowledge having worked in the Florida House of Representatives and the United States Senate. For the past decade she has focused on building a strong Central Florida practice representing clients in the development, sports, and technology arenas.

Ana stays active in local, state and federal politics and is often quoted in state and national publications and currently serves as a political correspondent for Bay News 9, Florida This Week and as a spokesperson for corporate clients.

TODD JOSKO
MANAGING PARTNER
TAMPA BAY

TODD JOSKO

Todd Josko brings to Ballard Partners over 20 years of experience in state and municipal government relations, public affairs, strategic communications and political strategies.

As founder and president of a Tampa-based public affairs firm that he led for 15 years, Todd has helped Fortune 500 companies and trade associations successfully resolve governmental and regulatory challenges, particularly on issues affecting growth, transportation, economic development and water quality.

Todd formally held a senior level position with an international strategic communications firm and has advised many national, state and local Republican candidates. He served as the Florida West Coast Field Director for Jeb Bush’s successful 1998 gubernatorial campaign, Florida West Coast Field Director for Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential run, and as a legislative assistant within the Florida House of Representatives.

Todd holds a Master of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Florida.