Peter’s life reads like an improbable script, from a childhood in the war zone of Beirut to an advisory role in the war room of two U.S. presidential campaigns, with a detour as one of the originators of electronic dance music. He moved to New York in the mid-1980s, working two jobs to pay for college and moonlighting as a jazz pianist in Greenwich Village clubs. He has since gone on to attain national recognition in three distinct professions: as a musician, social activist/blogger and political strategist. He was one of the early adopters of the Internet as a platform for political activism and was described by the New York Times as “one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation.” Before politics, Peter was a sought-after producer and keyboardist, appearing on over 500 recordings by artists ranging from Bjork to Mariah Carey to Miles Davis. In 2003, he embarked on his present career as a digital media strategist and has become a leader in the field, advising Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, as well as a number of major organizations. The Washington Post said Peter has helped pioneer “a whole new way of campaigning.”
Living in Beirut as a teenager, Peter survived artillery bombardment, gun battles, sniper fire, sectarian kidnappings and car bombings. He was a few hundred yards away from the American embassy when it was leveled by a suicide bomber. Conscripted at 15 into the Lebanese Forces (a Christian militia), he received combat training for three years until enrolling as a freshman at the American University of Beirut. He moved to New York in the mid-eighties to complete his philosophy studies at NYU.
A prolific jazz keyboardist, Peter helped create some of the early classics of electronic dance music. He was signed to Columbia Records and MCA/Universal, writing and co-producing three #1 Billboard Club singles and receiving featured coverage in Keyboard, Vibe, URB, and Billboard. He has appeared on recordings by Bjork, Diana Ross and Janet Jackson, among others. His compositions have been licensed to films and television shows and he has toured with prominent DJs, including Moby and Guru.
In the aftermath of the 2000 election, Peter rose to prominence as a political activist and blogger. His widely-read essay, The Triangle: Limits of Blog Power, was described by techPresident as “a seminal essay on the interaction between the blossoming blogosphere, the political establishment, and the press.” He has been cited regularly by major news outlets from the AP to the NY Times and has been a speaker at numerous conferences, including Harvard Business School’s Cyberposium and PDF.
Peter was the first online communications advisor to work in a presidential campaign war room, directing online outreach and rapid response for John Kerry’s 2004 campaign. In 2007, he was named Internet Director for Hillary Clinton for President, where he oversaw the campaign’s online fundraising, communications and mobilization. He has advised organizations and campaigns including the UN Foundation, AARP, Clinton Global Initiative, Dept. of Energy, Action Against Hunger, and more.