Alyssa Mende Mastromonaco (born February 22, 1976) is the Chief Operating Officer of Vice Media. She is also a contributing editor at Marie Claire magazine. She previously served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2014. She was the youngest woman to hold that position. Mastromonaco had worked for Obama since 2005 when he was on the United States Senate as his Director of Scheduling.
Early life and education
Mastromonaco grew up in Rhinebeck, New York, the daughter of business consultant father and a high school teacher mother.
In 1994, she graduated from Rhinebeck High School. During high school Mastromonaco worked in various jobs, including her first job as a checkout person at a grocery store called Kilmer's IGA.
Mastromonaco went to the University of Vermont for two years, majoring in French with a minor in Japanese. She transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she graduated with a BA in political science in 1998.
The summer after her sophomore year of college, after seeing Representative Bernie Sanders speak on campus, Mastromonaco was hired by Philip Fiermonte to work as an intern for Sanders in his Burlington, Vermont, district office. At that time, Sanders was campaigning for his fourth term in the House of Representatives. Mastromonaco said that this experience inspired her to work in government after seeing how it was possible to help people doing constituent work on a grassroots level. Although she had transferred to Wisconsin to study French, the summer working for Sanders shifted her passion from studying French and Japanese to political science. She cites Fiermonte as a great mentor during an important time in her life. The next summer Mastromonaco was invited to work for Sanders in Washington, D.C.
After college Mastromonaco wanted to continue working in government but couldn't find a job, so she worked as a real estate investment trust paralegal, which she said was instrumental in teaching her how to work well as part of a team. The job was in the World Trade Center.
In 2000, Mastromonaco moved to Boston and got her first job in politics as a staff assistant to Senator John Kerry. For a short time, after 9/11, she worked at a Republican lobbyist group, Richard Berman's American Beverage Institute, as director of membership. In 2002, Mastromonaco was hired as Press Secretary for Congressman Rick Boucher of Virginia, but in December 2002 went back to work for Kerry. In 2004, Mastromonaco was hired as the Director of Scheduling for Senator Kerry's presidential campaign.
Starting in February 2005, Mastromonaco joined the then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama's office during his run for United States Senate. She was hired as Director of Scheduling. The team who made up that office included Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Robert Gibbs, and Pete Rouse.
From 2007 to 2008, Mastromonaco was Political Director for Obama's Political Action Committee (PAC), Hopefund, during the 2006 midterm elections. The mission of the PAC was to teach young people who had no experience in the political process how to be field and community organizers. Following Obama's announcement in February 2007, Mastromonaco served as Director of Scheduling and Advance for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
In November 2008, Mastromonaco was appointed Director of Scheduling and Advance in the administration of President Barack Obama.
In January 2011, she was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In November 2011, The New Republic magazine listed Mastromonaco on their "2011 List Issue" as being one of Washington's most powerful, least famous people. Along with Nancy-Ann DeParle, who was White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, it was the first time a presidential administration had two women deputies in power. She was notable for her long institutional memory, the ability to understand logistics, and her low-key approach to the position.
In May 2014, Mastromonaco left her position as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. She was replaced by Anita Decker Breckenridge.
In June 2014, Mastromonaco was hired as a contributing editor at Marie Claire.
In January 2015, Mastromonaco joined Vice Media as Chief Operating Officer.
In fall 2016, Mastromonaco was accused of cooperating with the Clinton campaign following Wikileaks' release of emails between she and John Podesta.
Boards and memberships
- HeadCount.org, Board of Directors
- The Kennedy Center, Board of Trustees
- University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Political Science, Board of Visitors
- "Board of Directors - HeadCount". HeadCount.
- "Board of Trustees". John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
- "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". WhiteHouse.gov. 20 August 2014.
In November 2013, Mastromonaco married David Krone, who had worked with and was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's Chief of Staff from 2008 to 2015. They were married by Justice Elena Kagan at the Supreme Court. The couple currently live in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City.