Peter’s journey has taken him from the war zone of Beirut to an advisory role in the war rooms of two U.S. presidential campaigns. He lived in Lebanon during that country’s civil war and was conscripted into the military at the age of 15. He moved to New York in the mid-1980s to study philosophy at NYU, and has gone on to attain national recognition in three professions: as a social activist/blogger, music producer, 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 jazz 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 senators and presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The Washington Post said Peter has helped pioneer “a whole new way of campaigning.”
Living in Beirut, 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 City in the mid-eighties to complete his philosophy studies at NYU.
A prolific keyboardist, Peter helped create some of the early classics of electronic dance music, touring and performing with prominent DJs, including Moby and Guru. He was signed to Columbia/Sony and Universal, wrote and co-produced three #1 Billboard Club singles and received praise in Keyboard, Vibe, URB, and Billboard. His compositions have been licensed to film and TV soundtracks and he has appeared on recordings by Bjork, Diana Ross and Janet Jackson, among others.
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 staffer 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 organized annual blogger roundtables for President Bill Clinton and has advised leading organizations, including the UN Foundation and AARP.