Graduates of Hamilton College boast a number of impressive accolades. Perhaps one of our most notable alumni, at least in recent years, is Mike Dubke, class of ’92, who has been tapped as President Trump’s new communications director. Dubke is poised to take over the position from Sean Spicer, who has been serving as both press secretary and communications director for the White House.
Dubke, a native of Hamburg, NY, graduated from Hamilton with a degree in government. While here, he was involved in the College Republicans, The Spectator, and WHCL, and played on the men’s rugby team. Ted Eismeier, a retired Hamilton government professor, says Dubke was “one of [his] favorite students.” Later, as an alumnus, he was “always very supportive” of Eismeier’s Semester in Washington groups.
After leaving the Hill, Dubke served as the executive director for the Ripon Society, a Republican public policy organization in Washington, and for the Ripon Educational Fund. Under his leadership, the Ripon Society re-emerged as a vigorous actor in national politics. Dubke also co-founded Americans for Job Security, a pro-business advocacy group, and served as its president from 1995 to 2008. Together with his co-founder, David Carney, who served as political director for President George H. W. Bush, Dubke grew the organization across 45 states.
Dubke’s career reached further heights when he founded Crossroads Media in 2001. Crossroads bills itself as “the premier Republican media services firm, specializing in advertising strategy and placement for political candidates, issue advocacy organizations and trade associations.” Notable clients include the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Rudy Giuliani, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, the New York Stock Exchange, Westinghouse, and Walmart, among many others. In addition to serving as a partner at Crossroads Media, Dubke co-founded the Black Rock Group, a strategic communications and public affairs firm based in Alexandria, VA.
Those who know Dubke suggest that he’ll work well opposite Sean Spicer, who is known for his combative attitude. “Mike is a relentlessly positive person, kind of a happy warrior,” said Brian Jones of Black Rock Group. “Mike is not interested in being a public face. He's interested in rolling up his sleeves, trying to figure out how to make sure the messages that the White House wants to get out are getting out through the right channels. Knowing Sean for a long time and having worked with Mike for quite a long time, I think they will complement each other. They have different skill sets.”
Although he is a Republican insider, Dubke’s appointment has generally met with messages of approval from the right. Having played an active role in politics since his college days, and armed with his extensive background in political communications, Dubke will, without a doubt, be a valuable member of the Trump team. As Trump continues to wage war with the media, he desperately needs a skilled captain like Dubke to guide his administration’s communications through the tumultuous waters.
When asked about his new appointment, Dubke told Enquiry: “I can say that I am excited and honored to be working in the White House. I'll be taking my Hamilton cane to the West Wing in case relations with the media get out of hand.” This Hamiltonian, for one, looks forward to seeing that cane in action.