WASHINGTON – The 501(c)(4) American Action Network (AAN) and their sister super PAC the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) today announced that Mike Shields will join as the president of both organizations. Shields, a Capitol Hill veteran and the current Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee, begins Monday. He replaces outgoing President Brian O. Walsh, who has overseen AAN’s growth into a preeminent policy advocacy organization, and for two straight cycles AAN & CLF have been the combined largest outside spenders on U.S. House races.
“I’m thrilled to bring on a leader as talented as Mike Shields to the helm of AAN and CLF,” said former Senator Norm Coleman (MN), Chairman of AAN and CLF. “Mike’s gifts and experience are exactly what’s needed to build on our growth and achievements. I’ll always be grateful for Brian’s remarkable leadership in growing these organizations to have made a unmistakable impact on our nation’s policies and leaders.”
“Our vision for center-right policy influence has become a reality with AAN’s success, and I’m proud to have the estimable Mike Shields lead us even farther,” said Fred Malek, co-founder of the American Action Network.
Under the leadership of outgoing President Brian O. Walsh, AAN & CLF have raised a combined $104 million since 2011. During this time, AAN has become a leading voice for center-right policy solutions, including advocating for immigration reform, against Obamacare, and in building a national grassroots network of center-right policy advocates. He also helped create CLF, the super PAC exclusively dedicated to preserving and expanding a GOP Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I know no better leader to hand the torch to than Mike Shields,” said Brian O. Walsh. “Over our years in Washington, Mike has often been a colleague but always a friend. I know Mike brings the vision, skill and experience needed to drive AAN and CLF to even greater achievements for the center-right movement.”
Mike Shields brings with him two decades of policy and political experience, having served as RNC Chief of Staff the past two years. Previously, Shields served as Political Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 2012 cycle, and in various capacities at the NRCC prior. Shields has a long track record of policy accomplishments, having served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) from 2005 to 2008, at the U.S. Department of Labor under the Bush Administration, and in the late 1990s, as Communications Director for then House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“I’ve closely watched and admired AAN’s & CLF’s growth from start-up organizations to preeminent institutional powers in the policy advocacy and political spheres,” said incoming President Mike Shields. “Nowhere else in Washington can you as meaningfully engage in debates, from pure policy to pure politics, as you can here. I’m thankful to the AAN and CLF Boards for the opportunity to lead, and I look forward to helping these organizations grow more.”