Matt Dorsey



Hello, I'm Matt Dorsey

Media Relations Professional. | Communications Strategist. | Committed Hillarista. | Deflategate Denialist.

A skilled and versatile communications professional with expertise in research-driven strategies that inform, influence, and stay relevant in the fast-changing marketplace of ideas.

  • “He may be a native of Massachusetts, but Matt Dorsey can spot the crest of a wave as well any California surfer.” —National Journal

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and educational experience.



Serves as spokesman and lead communications strategist for City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera. Functions as the primary citywide contact for print, digital and broadcast news outlets on civil litigation matters to which the City and County of San Francisco is a party. Creates and oversees the execution of communication strategies aimed at advancing San Francisco’s objectives in affirmative and defensive litigation—including cases in which millions of taxpayer dollars and vital city policies are at risk. Fields questions from local, state and national journalists, and facilitates factual and well-informed responses on the office’s behalf. Authors or supervises authorship of all news releases, statements, speeches, opinion-editorials, media advisories, and web-based and social media content for the office. Cultivates and maintains relationships with journalists, editors, bloggers and opinion leaders to ensure that those covering the office are fully informed about its work. Serves as webmaster and multimedia managing editor for the office’s website and social media channels. Redesigned and managed a comprehensive rebuild of the office’s website to keep pace with technology trends and office priorities. Plans and supervises content and logistics for news conferences and press briefings, including coordination with other elected officials and city departments in joint outreach activities. Oversees administrative aspects of the office’s response to all formal requests under the California Public Records Act and San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance, in coordination with government counsel to ensure compliance with applicable laws. Manages the office’s defense against complaints filed with the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. Supervises community outreach, and functions as a primary contact for leaders and organizations on matters of public importance relating to the office’s work. Mentors junior-level staff on all team functions.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Increased the City Attorney’s national news share (an in-house research metric) by more than 240 percent over that of his predecessor.
  • Elevated the role of media relations as a key element of litigation strategy, with positive and directly attributable effects on case outcomes.
  • Re-designed, built and manages office website that has dramatically expanded access to case documentation and other public content.
  • Won published praise from journalists for professionalism, responsiveness, and commitment to promoting open government.
  • Pitched and successfully placed national coverage for major City Attorney initiatives, including landmark marriage equality cases.
Director of Community and Media Relations, and Press Secretary
Sept. 2002 – Present


Operated a successful independent consultancy that offered an array of strategic communications, public relations, research, writing, graphic design, and web development services. Diverse national client base included charitable foundations; local and statewide political campaigns; and consumer product, healthcare, and technology companies.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Designed and wrote the campaign website praised by the Boston Herald as the best among five Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates in 2002.
  • Won Top 5% of the Web and Webactive Featured Site recognition for legislative scorecards by the California League of Conservation Voters.
  • Major opposition research undertaking in 2002 played a significant role in the successful outcome of a hotly contested political race.
  • Representative Clients
  • California League of Conservation Voters; Oakland, California (2001-2002): web development
  • Dennis Herrera for City Attorney; San Francisco, California (2001) web development, writing, research, media relations
  • QuadraMed Software; Alameda, California (2001-2002): public relations
  • Wolaver’s Organic Ales; Middlebury, Vermont (2001): graphic design and writing
  • St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation; San Francisco, California (2001-02): research; writing
  • South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL); Nevada City, California (2001-2002): writing; web development
  • Robert Barnes & Associates, Inc., San Francisco, California (2001): web development, research, writing
  • Kevin Shelley for Secretary of State; San Francisco, California (2002): web development, research, writing
  • The Sierra Fund; Nevada City, California (2002): web development, graphic design, writing
  • Mark Leno for State Assembly; San Francisco, California (2002): research, web development
  • Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee; San Francisco, California (2002): research
  • Yes on 41: Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002; Sacramento, California (2002): web development
  • Crow & Rose Law Firm; San Francisco, California (2002): web development
  • Warren Tolman for Governor; Watertown, Massachusetts (2002): web development, speechwriting, research
  • Mayor John DeStefano for Governor; New Haven, Connecticut: web development
  • No on Knight/No on Proposition 22; San Francisco, California (2000): writing; web development
Communications and Research Consultant, Writer, and Web Developer
Jan. 2001 – Sept. 2002


Managed public relations efforts and developed research-based campaign strategies for a leading business-to-business tech PR agency that specialized in competitive communications. Pitched and secured news and feature coverage for clients that included executive profiles, customer successes, and competitive de-positioning. Authored PR and executive-level communications for major e-business, e-government, and philanthropic initiatives. Managed media relations account for the firm’s first major consumer-brand client.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Successfully placed a major feature story in a national tech publication on the Oracle executive leading the company’s e-business transformation.
  • Served as account manager for the award-winning launch campaign of the consumer payment venture (, later PayPal) of CEO Elon Musk.
  • Managed messaging and media outreach for Oracle events that featured CEO Larry Ellison, Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt, and Gen. Colin Powell.

Representative Clients

  • Oracle Corporation; Redwood Shores, California (1999-2001): public relations
  • Oracle’s Promise; Redwood Shores, California (1999-2000): public relations
  • Hewlett Packard; Palo Alto, California (1999-2000): public relations
  •; Palo Alto, California (1999-2000): public relations
  • HP World e-Inclusion; Palo Alto, California (1999-2001): public relations
  • Alta Vista; Palo Alto, California (1999-2001): public relations
  • Rapt Software; San Mateo, California (2000-2001): public relations
  • E.Piphany, Inc.; San Mateo, California (2000): public relations
  • Aurigin Systems, Inc.; Cupertino, California (2000-2001): public relations
  • LinuxCare; San Francisco, California (2000-2001): public relations
Campaign Strategist, Account Manager
Jan. 1999 – Jan. 2001


Founding partner of a national political research firm that served candidate campaigns and public interest causes in nearly two-dozen states. Developed a groundbreaking and award-winning web consulting practice that served a diverse array of public sector, private sector and political clients.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Launched the first political committee ever approved by the U.S. Federal Election Commission to accept online campaign contributions.
  • Served as research consultant to one of the only statewide landslide victories by a Democratic candidate in the 1994 election cycle.
  • Conducted opposition research credited by campaign consultants as a decisive factor in a 1995 statewide victory for LGBT equality Maine.

Representative Clients

  • Gov. Ben Nelson; re-election for Governor; Omaha, Nebraska (1994): research
  • Gov. Jim Folsom; re-election for Governor; Montgomery, Alabama (1994): research
  • U.S. Sen. Chuck Robb, re-election for U.S. Senate; Alexandria, Virginia (1994): research
  • U.S. Rep. David Bonior; re-election for Congress; Mount Clemens, Michigan (1994-98): research
  • U.S. Rep. Alan Wheat; campaign for U.S. Senate; Kansas City, Missouri (1994): research
  • U.S. Rep. Gerald Kleczka, re-election campaign; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1994): research
  • U.S. Rep. Jill Long; re-election for Congress; Fort Wayne, Indiana (1994): research
  • U.S. Rep. Frank McCloskey; re-election for Congress; Bloomington, Indiana (1994): research
  • U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers, re-election for Congress; Ann Arbor, Michigan (1994-96): research
  • U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman; re-election for Congress; Ocala, Florida (1994-96): research
  • Phil Zimmermann Legal Defense Fund; Boulder, Colorado (1994-95): web development
  • Maine Won't Discriminate/No on One; Portland, Maine (1995): research, web development
  • NewtWatch PAC; Washington, D.C. (1995-96): web development, research
  • State Sen. Art Miller; campaign for Mayor of Warren, Michigan (1995): research
  • Bill Fazio for District Attorney; San Francisco, California (1995): research
  • Sun Apparel, Inc.; Arlington, Virginia (1995): web development
  • NetResponse, Inc.; Alexandria, Virginia (1995): web development
  • Chiat/Day; New York, New York (1995-96): fitness model and actor in broadcast and print advertisements for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, Virginia Department of Health, and American Red Cross.
  • California League of Conservation Voters; Oakland, California (1995-1998): web development
  • National Association for Bilingual Education, Washington, D.C. (1996-98): web development
  • U.S. Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA); Washington, D.C. (1996-97): web development
  • Lewis Massey for Secretary of State; Atlanta, Georgia (1996): research, web development
  • Joe Manchin for Governor; Morgantown, West Virginia (1996): research
  • Rick Zbur for U.S. Congress; Long Beach, California (1996): web development, writing
  • Interactive Services Association; Washington, D.C. (1996-97): web development
  • The Internet Alliance; Washington, D.C. (1996-97): web development
  • Travel Documents Systems, Inc.; Washington, D.C. (1997): web development
  • Document Solutions, Inc.: Oakland, California (1997): web development
  • Green Mountain Film Festival; Montpelier, Vermont (1997): web development
  • International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Washington, D.C. (1997): web development
  • Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States of America; Washington, D.C. (1997): web development
  • Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard for Governor; Atlanta, Georgia (1997): research
  • Political Technologies, Inc.; San Rafael, California (1997-1999): writing, web development
  • Center for Public Integrity; Washington, D.C. (1997-98): web development
  • Lewis Massey for Governor; Atlanta, Georgia (1998): research, web development
  • State Assemblymember George Nakano; re-election campaign; Long Beach, California (1998): web development
  • State Controller Kathleen Connell; re-election campaign; Los Angeles, California (1998): web development, media relations
  • Hal Brown for State Insurance Commissioner; San Rafael, California (1998): web development, speechwriting
  • Greg Harper for Congress; Emeryville, California (1998): writing, web development
  • Pro-Choice Voter Guide; San Rafael, California (1998): web development and graphic design
  • Doak, Carrier and O'Donnell, LLC; Washington, D.C. (1998): web development
  • Latino Voter Guide; San Rafael, California (1998): web development
  • City of Mill Valley, Mill Valley, California (1998): writing, web development
  • Michigan Education Association; East Lansing, Michigan (1998): research
Political Research Consultant, Speechwriter, and Web Developer
April 1994 – Jan. 1999


Directed opposition research into industry and institutional foes of President Bill Clinton’s Healthcare Reform Act of 1993. Managed a 5-person research team that compiled reports on activities, funding sources, and public policy agendas of more than 450 organizations. Conducted research into House and Senate floor statements on the topic of healthcare reform by Republican opponents of the President’s plan. Managed historical research into prior efforts to reform federal healthcare coverage dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt. Coordinated daily with the the Clinton Administration’s legendary “War Room” to provide research and talking points for White House rapid-response efforts.

Research Director, National Health Care Campaign
March 1993 – April 1994


Appointed by District Attorney Arlo Smith to serve as an investigator in the office’s Family Support Bureau. Functioned as the District Attorney’s deputy press secretary and speechwriter in a part-time capacity. Authored news releases and media advisories for the office, and drafted prepared remarks for speaking engagements by the District Attorney.

Title IV-D Officer, Family Support; and Deputy Press Secretary
Sept. 1992 – March 1993


Research analyst for the nation’s leading Democratic opposition research firm, founded by Ace Smith and Rahm Emanuel. Consulted to multiple statewide and congressional clients. Worked in key political roles for Smith’s father, District Attorney Arlo Smith, including as manager of Smith’s successful 1991 re-election campaign, and as deputy press secretary for his 1990 state attorney general bid.

Representative Clients

  • Barbara Boxer for U.S. Senate; Los Angeles, California (1992): research
  • Carol Moseley Braun for U.S. Senate; Chicago, Illinois (1992): research
  • Ben Nighthorse Campbell for U.S. Senate; Denver, Colorado (1992): research
  • Maria Cantwell for U.S. Congress; Bothell, Washington (1992): research
  • Joe Kohn for Attorney General; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1992): research
  • Geraldine Ferraro for U.S. Senate; New York, New York (1992): research
  • U.S. Rep. Peter Hoagland; re-election for Congress (1992): research
  • Arlo Smith for District Attorney; San Francisco, California (1991): re-election campaign manager
  • Arlo Smith for Attorney General; Los Angeles, California (1990): deputy press secretary, finance coordinator, speechwriter
Political Research Consultant, and Campaign Manager
May 1990 – Sept. 1992



Top vote-getter among first-time candidates in the June 2012 Primary Election, earning more than 19,000 votes in one of California’s most heavily Democratic Assembly Districts. Endorsers included: U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Kamala Harris, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, State Sen. Mark Leno, State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and former Mayor Art Agnos. Appointed by the S.F. DCCC Chair to the committee’s executive board as corresponding secretary in June 2012. Redesigned and managed the San Francisco Democratic Party’s website. Authored and secured approval for comprehensive reforms to party bylaws and practices to better harmonize with California Brown Act and San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance provisions. Won broad support for resolutions on transgender rights and HIV/AIDS issues.

Elected Member and Corresponding Secretary
Jan. 2012 – Present


Winner of the 2013 honor bestowed annually by the venerable AIDS/HIV services organization “for embodying the values of Shanti in reaching out and serving others in the community.”

James C. Hormel Client Community Spirit Award Winner
Oct. 2013


As Parish Council Member from January 2008 to December 2010, helped to lead community relations, internal and external messaging, and ministry outreach efforts. Pitched and managed feature coverage for the LGBT-inclusive parish in local news outlets. Worked with the MHR HIV/AIDS Ministry on its participation in San Francisco LGBT Pride Parades and Castro Street Fairs. Member of the ad hoc communications committee, which served to advise the pastor on community, political and press challenges related to California’s high-profile Proposition 8 and marriage equality battles.

Member, Parish Council; Ad Hoc Pastoral Communications Committee
Dec. 2004 – May 2014



Communication Studies major with a minor in Psychology and emphasis in Political Communications. Earned an advanced placement internship as speechwriter to New England Telephone President and CEO Paul C. O’Brien. Served as a legislative intern for State Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Boston). Founded Students Against Moving Emerson (SAME), an organization of students, faculty and alumni that successfully opposed college administration’s bid to relocate to a suburban campus in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Served as a summer resident assistant for the 6 Arlington Street dormitory; subsequently elected dormitory president. Active in the Emerson College Communications Politics and Law Society, and intramural athletics. Authored columns for the college newspaper, the Berkeley Beacon. Achieved an Emerson College GPA of 3.91/4.00.

Academic Honors

  • Dean’s List (every semester)
  • Statewide winner of the John F. Kennedy Scholarship from the Massachusetts Democratic Party (1988)
  • Gold Key Honor Society (1989)
  • Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities (1989)
  • Graduated cum laude (1989)

Community and Political Activities

  • Boston’s Ward 21 Democratic Committee (1986-88): associate member
  • Michael Dukakis for Governor; Boston, Massachusetts (1986): field and state convention volunteer
  • Joe Kennedy for U.S. Congress; Cambridge, Massachusetts (1986): field and fundraising volunteer
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for U.S. Congress; Towson and Essex, Maryland (1986): field staff
  • Warren Tolman for State Senate; Watertown, Massachusetts (1986): writer and deputy field director
  • Michael Dukakis for President/Victory Fund ’88; Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut (1988): writer and finance coordinator
  • Boston Against Drugs; Boston, Massachusetts (1989): writer
Bachelor of Science in Speech (BSSp.), Cum Laude
Class of 1989