Former deputy chief of staff for Rep. Underwood (D-IL), communications director for Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) brings 10 years of Capitol Hill communications experience to firm
Yunjeong Lee joins growing team as a communications associate, brings experience in digital content creation
Cornerstone Public Affairs, a leading, bipartisan public affairs firm, announced today the addition of Kirsten West as a principal. Kirsten brings to the firm nearly a decade of experience working in public relations and strategic communications on Capitol Hill.
Since 2019, Kirsten served as the deputy chief of staff to Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL), acting as the Congresswoman’s national spokesperson and overseeing all communications including press releases, speeches, media events, interviews, social media, email campaigns, mailers, and paid advertisements.
“The political and media landscape is more challenging than ever to navigate,” Kirsten said. “I’m thrilled to join the well-respected, extremely talented team at Cornerstone to help clients break through today’s noise, maintain and grow trusted relationships with lawmakers and the public, and execute on strategic communications goals.”
She created and implemented a multi-faceted and aggressive communications operation for Rep. Underwood, a newly elected member of Congress, which included the creation of a tailored brand carried through digital, earned, and paid media to establish one of the largest followings in Congress. Kirsten also supported the creation of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, one of the largest bipartisan caucuses in Congress, and the release of its “Momnibus” legislative package by successfully managing roll-out events across a diverse group of stakeholders and creating earned media opportunities.
Kirsten previously worked for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), starting as deputy communications director until being promoted to communications director. In this role, she managed a four-member press team where she built strong national media relationships and wrote press releases, op-eds, memos, debate preparation books, and talking points. She provided political counsel for the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee through two controversial Supreme Court confirmations and grew the senator’s national brand leading up to a presidential campaign.
She also served as communications director for Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) from 2015-2017 and press secretary for Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) from 2013-2014. She has pitched, booked, and prepared the members of Congress she served for major interviews with outlets including Meet the Press, The Daily Show, New York Times, Fox News Sunday, CBS This Morning, Harper’s Baazar, The Washington Post, and many more.
Cornerstone further expanded its public affairs team with the addition of Yunjeong Lee as a communications associate with experience in various forms of digital content creation, including blog posts, e-newsletters, social media, and web design for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology.
“The additions of Kirsten and Yunjeong to our public affairs team grow our reach, expertise and capabilities,” said Campbell Kaufman, managing director. “Government relations is of course a critical advocacy strategy, but our clients continue to see how an effective, strategic and complementary public affairs offering becomes a force multiplier on the Hill, in state capitols, and beyond.”