Alex Conant (MPA ’03) is a founding partner at Firehouse Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. He joined the La Follette School’s Board of Visitors in April.
Conant became interested in politics in high school in Minnesota, when he spent summers working for Rudy Boschwitz’s and Norm Coleman’s campaigns. After graduating from La Follette, he worked in the most senior levels of American politics and government for 15 years. He was a White House spokesman during President George W. Bush’s second term after working in the Commerce Department, the U.S. Senate, and the Office of Management of Budget. His political roles included serving as press secretary at the Republican National Committee in 2008 and as the communications director for Tim Pawlenty’s 2012 presidential campaign and Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.
At Firehouse Strategies, Conant currently manages public affairs campaigns for many of the largest corporations and trade associations in the United States. He regularly provides political and policy analysis in national newspapers, cable news appearances, and radio interviews. He received his bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison and an MPA from the La Follette School in 2003. While at UW–Madison, Conant was the editor-in-chief of student newspaper The Badger Herald.
“In addition to useful skills like cost-benefit analysis and statistics, La Follette gave me a deeper understanding of how good policy is made. With so much partisan posturing and political showmanship in government, we need more people committed to doing the hard work of developing real policy solutions. I’m excited to support La Follette educating the next generation of policymakers.”
Since 2015, the La Follette School Board of Visitors has played an important part in providing guidance to the school. The board is comprised of business partners and other collaborators representing the public and private sectors who are interested in seeing the La Follette School succeed. Many thanks to Conant for sharing his expertise with the school.