ASGK Public Strategies, the firm headquartered in Chicago, founded by David Axelrod and Eric Sedler, is creating a new practice group--focusing on crisis communications, litigation and issues management--and signed Tracy Schmaler, former Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice, to helm the operation.
Schmaler will be an ASGK Managing Director and head of the new practice group, based in Washington.
"Tracy's service in senior positions with the Obama Administration and on the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as her time working for Silicon Valley giant Yahoo! Inc., makes her uniquely positioned to lead this specialized practice group," said Eric Sedler, Managing Partner at ASGK.
From the firm on the new group: "The practice will provide strategic public affairs and media relations services to clients needing assistance with crisis communications, corporate and other complex litigation, government investigations, regulatory matters, and general issues management."
While at the Justice Department, Schmaler "developed and managed the Department's overall media strategy on high-profile law enforcement, policy and legislative issues including crisis communications involving the Attorney General, congressional investigations and hearings, as well as significant criminal, civil and antitrust litigation," the firm said.
And more: "Prior to serving in the Obama Administration, she oversaw global public affairs for Yahoo! Inc., where she advised the CEO and executive leadership team on communications strategy involving policy and regulatory issues such as Internet privacy, intellectual property, and corporate social responsibility efforts in emerging markets around the world.
"She also served on the company's crisis communications team responsible for key priority matters, including Microsoft's attempted hostile takeover bid, the proxy contest with Carl Icahn, and domestic and international policy communications around the proposed Yahoo! - Google search marketing agreement.
"Tracy has also worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee as Communications Director where she served as chief spokesperson for the Committee and its Chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, on issues such as Supreme Court and other judicial nominations, patent reform, oversight investigations of the Executive Branch and criminal justice policy.
"Prior to her career in public affairs, Tracy was a political reporter in Vermont, where she covered state and national politics."