|Chairman of the American Conservative Union|
|Assumed office |
June 19, 2014
|Preceded by||Al Cardenas|
|White House Director of Political Affairs|
May 23, 2003 – February 2005
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Ken Mehlman|
|Succeeded by||Sara Taylor|
Matthew Aaron Schlapp
December 18, 1967
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
|Education||University of Notre Dame (BA)|
Wichita State University (MA)
Matthew Aaron "Matt" Schlapp (born December 18, 1967) is an American political activist and lobbyist who is chairman of the American Conservative Union, the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country. He leads the lobbying firm of Cove Strategies. He is also a Fox News political contributor.
Schlapp was President George W. Bush’s deputy assistant and political director during Bush's first term He is married to Mercedes Schlapp, who is President Donald Trump's Director of Strategic Communications.
Early life and education
Schlapp grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and is the son of Susan Schlapp, a Wichita City councilwoman. He started his education at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Wichita. He then continued at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, a private school in Wichita from which he graduated in 1986. He attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a Bachelor's degree, and Wichita State University, where he earned a Master's degree in Public Policy.
Schlapp began his political career in 1994, working for five years as a press secretary, campaign manager, and chief of staff for Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). Schlapp joined George W. Bush’s 2000 political campaign, serving as a regional political director with oversight of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and Oklahoma.
During his tenure at the White House as George W. Bush’s political director, Schlapp advised the President, the Vice President, members of the cabinet, senior White House staff and had extensive contact with members of Congress and federal agencies.
In 2004, Schlapp took a job at Koch Industries, headquartered in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. In his role as vice president of federal affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, he directed the major federal public policy strategies on anti-environmental and energy policies, financial markets, legal reform, and international and domestic tax issues.
On June 19, 2014, Schlapp was unanimously elected chairman of the American Conservative Union.
In September 2018, Schlapp tweeted a photo of three Democratic Senators, all of whom were people of color, and wrote, "Look at this photo conservative voters in WV, ND, IN, FL, MO, MT, MI, TN, AZ, NV." Critics, including conservative Bill Kristol and Tom Nichols, accused Schlapp of racial dog-whistling, which Schlapp denied.
Schlapp married Mercedes (Mercy) Viana Schlapp, whom he met while the both worked at the White House, where she was the director of specialty media. Together they co-founded Cove Strategies, a communications and political consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. She is now President Trump's Director of Strategic Communications.
- "Matt Schlapp bio from The American Conservative Union homepage".
- "Meet the Schlapps, Washington's Trump-Era 'It Couple'". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
- "Biography from Cove Strategies". Archived from the original on February 17, 2016.
- "School News, September 17, 2010". Catholic Diocese of Wichita. September 17, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- "American Conservative Union chairman slammed for 'straight-up appeal to bigotry' after Kavanaugh hearing tweet". 2018-09-28. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
- "Matt Schlapp biography video from The American Conservative Union YouTube Channel".
- "Video of Matt Schlapp's Address at CPAC 2015 from The American Conservative Union's Youtube channel".
| Director of the Office of Political Affairs