George Birnbaum

George Birnbaum came of age during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. He took his first paid position in a political campaign in 1992, signing onto Ohio Republican Congressman Bob McEwen’s tough reelection campaign. In the years following, he worked on more congressional races, including campaigns in North Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

During the 1996 cycle, Birnbaum served as the deputy political director and deputy director of survey research under National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Alfonse D’Amato. While Bob Dole was running the national GOP ticket to an embarrassing defeat, Birnbaum’s work on two dozen key races helped ensure that Republicans broke the historical pattern and actually netted a two-seat gain, to help maintain their hold on the U.S. Senate.

Following the 1996 cycle, Birnbaum accepted the task of managing Charlie Crist’s 1998 challenger campaign against incumbent Senator Bob Graham in Florida. Though unsuccessful – Graham is one of the few politicians in American history to have won statewide races at least five times, with no defeats – the campaign is widely credited with setting up Crist for his later successful runs for state education commissioner, Attorney General, and Governor.

It was after the 1996 cycle that Birnbaum’s career took an international turn, when he agreed to consult for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign. Birnbaum eventually served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, a position he held for a year and a half.

George Birnbaum has consulted and managed campaigns throughout Europe and the Middle East. He is credited with having helped elected Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon, Chancellor of Austria Alfred Gussenbauer, Prime Minister of Bulgaria Sergey Stanishev, Prime Minister of Romania Colin Taricaneau, Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, and President of Serbia Boris Tadic. In 2008, he helped elect Nir Barkat as Mayor of Jerusalem, and in 2009 he helped Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party become the 3rd largest party in Israel – a position of strength which resulted in Mr. Lieberman’s ascension to the position of Foreign Minister in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cabinet.

Between 2003 and 2011, Birnbaum worked closely with Edi Rama of Albania. Having worked with him on three successful campaigns as Mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama eventually went on to become Prime Minister of Albania, a position he still holds today.

In 2010 Birnbaum helped with electing Prime Minister Peter Necas in the Czech Republic at a time when his free-market political party ODS was on the verge of losing the election. Also, in 2010 Birnbaum helped the center-right Fidesz party win a sixty percent majority in the Hungarian parliament, a record-setting achievement for any political party in any country since the founding of the European Union. Then again in 2014, the he helped re-elect Prime Minister Victor Orban in Hungary with a two-thirds majority making it the first time in European history to re-elect a Prime Minister with such a large majority.