Monthly Speakers Series
August 1, 2017
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Texas Land & Cattle
1101 South MoPac Expressway
Austin, TX 78746
Matt Mackowiak (Mack-o-VEE-yack) is an Austin and Washington, DC-based political and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group (PSG), LLC, which provides political consulting to conservative campaigns and media relations and crisis communications assistance to companies, groups and individuals. He has served in senior roles for two U.S. Senators and a Governor, in the Bush administration, and in winning campaigns, and has developed a deep network of media and political relationships nationwide.
In the 2014 cycle, Matt managed a statewide campaign for Texas Comptroller for House Ways and Means chairman Harvey Hilderbran, raising over $2.3 million and earning over 300,000 votes while winning 59 counties, ultimately finishing second in a four-way primary. He advised Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown, who won his contested primary by the third largest margin of any Republican statewide candidate. He also advised former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, who defeated 17-term U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) in a primary runoff, the first Republican challenger to defeat a Republican congressional incumbent in Texas in the state's history. From 2011-2014, Matt worked with PSG client Gov. Sean Parnell (R-AK) as a senior communications adviser, providing counsel on strategy, speechwriting and media relations. In 2010 Matt served as Campaign Manager for Bill Flores, the Republican nominee in Texas' 17th Congressional District. After winning a 5-way primary, Flores defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) by 25% in November, the largest margin of victory of the 63 winning GOP challengers in the 2010 cycle.
In addition to offering counsel to individuals and corporations, Matt appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News, Sky News, BBC News and CBC-TV, and provides political analysis three times a week for KTBC Fox 7 in Austin. He is an exclusive columnist for The Washington Times, The New York Observer and The Hill newspaper and is a biweekly columnist for The Austin American-Statesman, with his column syndicated to over 200 newspapers nationally. His weekly national politics podcast, "Mack On Politics," which is produced in partnership with The Washington Times, has surpassed 40,000 downloads and features interviews with leading newsmakers.
From 2007-2009 Matt served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), the fourth highest ranking member of the Republican Leadership, and from 2005-2007 he served in the same role for three-term former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). Earlier in his career he was a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security serving Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson, managed the second largest county in Iowa on the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, counseled corporate clients at international PR firm Burson-Marsteller, and performed White House Presidential advance nationwide.
Matt is currently serving as Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. He is a Director of the Center for Public Policy and Political Studies at Austin Community College. In 2016, he was named a finalist for "Austin Under 40" in the Public Affairs category and he is a graduate of Leadership Austin's 2017 Essential Class. After raising over $54,000 in ten weeks for cancer research, he was named 2016 "Man of the Year" runner-up for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, where he now serves as a member of their leadership committee. He serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Texas Cowboys and for the Veterans non-profit Luke's Wings and on the Board of Governors for Balcones Country Club. He serves as Vice President of the Texas Delta Chi Housing Foundation. He is a 2016 delegate to the British-American Project and a member of the Washington, DC-based Council for National Policy and the Headliner's Club in Austin.
A native of Austin, Matt graduated with a B.S. in Communications Studies (Political Communication track) from the University of Texas in 2003. Aside from his professional work, he owns and manages the popular blog site www.PotomacFlacks.com, which the Washingtonian Magazine has called "one of the best political blogs." In 2012, Matt started a bipartisan political blog for Texas politics, http://www.MustReadTexas.com, which aggregates the top news and opinion from across the state and delivers a daily email newsletter to 4,000 Texans. Matt and his wife Suzanne live in the University Hills neighborhood of Austin and they have two spoiled dogs, Ginny and Jasmine.