HPS Insights

HPS Welcomes New Managing Director Jonathan Graffeo and Director Phalen Kuckuck

October 19, 2021
3 min read

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) announced today that Jonathan Graffeo and Phalen Kuckuck have joined the firm’s growing team as a managing director and a director, respectively. Graffeo brings an impressive Capitol Hill resume to the firm, while Kuckuck offers deep experience in digital and public affairs campaigns to HPS clients. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jonathan and Phalen to our team,” said Matt McDonald, a partner at HPS. “They both have extensive knowledge on key policy issues and experience on strategic communications efforts across the political landscape. I’m confident that their understanding of complex public affairs issues will be an invaluable asset to our clients and the HPS team at large.”

Graffeo joins HPS from Capitol Hill, where he served in senior committee staff roles for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Most recently, he served as deputy staff director on the Senate Appropriations Committee, overseeing messaging and legislative strategy. Prior to that, Graffeo served as communications director on the Senate Banking Committee. Graffeo holds an undergraduate degree from Auburn University and an MBA from Duke University. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in crisis communication from the University of Alabama.

Kuckuck joins HPS from PLUS Communications and sister company FP1 Strategies, where he served as a digital director overseeing the strategic development of multimillion-dollar advertising, communications, and public affairs campaigns. In this role, Kuckuck led award-winning initiatives for Fortune 500s, political campaigns, and coalitions. Kuckuck has also managed and consulted on political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels, including runs by now-State Treasurer Riley Moore for West Virginia House and JB Akers for Charleston Mayor. Kuckuck brings to HPS experience in government affairs, as he represented key policy priorities of trade associations, coalitions, and corporations before the West Virginia Legislature and worked in the state capitol as a legislative assistant. 

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