Doug Thornell
Doug Thornell

SKDK has named partner Doug Thornell successor to CEO Josh Isay, who will take on the senior counsel role at the end of the year.

The 46-year-old will become highest ranking Black executive at top PA/political consulting firm. SKDK has more than 200 staffers.

As CEO of the Stagwell unit, Thornell will handle day-to-day activities with partners Bill Knapp, Jill Zuckman, Mike Morey and Kerri Lyon.

Thornell joined SKDK a dozen years ago as senior VP in its PA practice. Most recently, he led its paid media and political practice.

Isay called Thornell “a brilliant communications professional who combines a deep understanding of our business with exceptional motivational and leadership skills.”

He said Thornell has been “an insightful and thoughtful adviser and confidante to me for over a decade.”

During his 20-year career, Thornell was lead media strategist to the Democratic National Committee, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, adviser to both Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and the Congressional Black Caucus and traveling spokesman for Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.