Richard Socarides (born 1954) was a White House adviser under United States President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1999 in a variety of senior positions, including as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser for Public Liaison. Among other things, he served as Clinton's adviser for gay and lesbian issues, and also as Chief Operating Officer of the 50th Anniversary Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After leaving the White House, he worked as the Senior Vice President of corporate communications at New Line Cinema from 2003 to 2005.
Socarides, openly gay, is the son of psychiatrist Charles Socarides, a controversial critic of the American Psychiatric Association's decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
Socarides has held senior positions in the media and entertainment sector and in government and law – as a media relations and communications executive, as a presidential adviser at the White House and as a partner in a New York City law firm.
Legal career Edit
From 1984 to 1990, Socarides was an associate, then a partner, at the New York law firm of Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent and Lehrer. He graduated from Hofstra University School of Law and Antioch College. Socarides has served on a wide variety of non-profit boards, including those of organizations devoted to civil rights, historic preservation and urban renewal, music and philanthropy.
Political career Edit
Socarides served on national political campaigns, as Deputy Director for Public Liaison for Clinton/Gore '96 and as Political Director and Senior Advisor for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin in 1991-92. He also served on Tom Harkin's U.S. Senate staff.
From 1993 to 1999, Socarides worked as a White House advisor in a variety of senior positions. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Public Liaison and also as Chief Operating Officer of the 50th Anniversary Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He coordinated communications and event strategy, policy and community outreach relating to key initiatives and represented the President and articulated administration policy in public appearances.
Corporate career Edit
In 2000, Socarides was Senior Vice President at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery Strategic Communications, a New York consulting firm. He provided media relations, branding, marketing, public policy and crisis management advice to domestic and international Fortune 100 companies, principally in the media and entertainment sectors, including American Online, NBC and Bertelsmann, among others.
Socarides served as Vice President for Corporate Relations at AOL Time Warner (now Time Warner), where he was a senior member of the executive team responsible for planning and positioning the company’s corporate social responsibility strategy and its community outreach program. He also managed media relations and internal communications in support of these initiatives. During this same period, Socarides also served as Vice President of the AOL Time Warner Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company, in which capacity he was responsible for building a brand franchise around the company’s philanthropic initiatives and helping to oversee an annual budget of $20 million in corporate giving.
As Senior Vice President at New Line Cinema and as head of its corporate communications department, Socarides was responsible for managing corporate press and media relations, as well as communications strategy and reputation management for the company and its senior executives. He was a member of the team that developed the Academy Award campaign for The Return of the King. It won 11 Oscars, tying the record for most ever, including Best Picture.
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