Peter’s journey has taken him from Beirut to the Beltway – from a war zone to an advisory role in the war rooms of two U.S. presidential campaigns. He has advised major political figures, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and was described by the New York Times as “one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation.” A consultant to the Clinton Global Initiative since its inception, he has organized media roundtables for President Bill Clinton and has crafted digital strategies for the UN Foundation, Department of Energy, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Intel, AARP, and Action Against Hunger, among others.
Peter grew up in Lebanon and lived through a decade of sectarian strife, undergoing compulsory military service in his teens. He moved to New York to attend NYU and has gone on to attain national recognition in three fields: as a blogger and activist, a political strategist, and, during the 90s, as a producer/engineer credited with several hit records. In 2014, he co-founded GrantHer with his wife Leela to provide grants to the next generation of women entrepreneurs and leaders.
Peter lived in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war and survived years of urban warfare, from artillery and gun battles to kidnappings and car bombs. He was steps away from the American embassy when it was demolished by a suicide bomber. At 15, he was conscripted into the Lebanese Forces – a Christian militia – and received combat training for three years. He moved to New York in the 80s to pursue his BA in Philosophy at NYU.
During the 90s, Peter was a sought-after keyboardist, engineer and producer, appearing on recordings by Bjork, Miles Davis, Diana Ross and Mariah Carey, among many others. An accomplished jazz pianist, he was signed to Columbia/Sony and Universal, producing three #1 Billboard Club singles. He toured and performed with prominent DJs, including Moby, and was featured in Vibe, URB, Spin, Billboard and TIME.
Peter rose to prominence as a political blogger in the aftermath of the 2000 election. His widely-read essay, The Triangle, was described by techPresident as “a seminal essay on the interaction between the blogosphere, the political establishment, and the press.” He has been cited by news outlets from the AP to the Wall Street Journal and has spoken at venues including Harvard Business School and the National Press Club.
Peter was among the first Internet staffers to work in a presidential campaign war room, directing online outreach and rapid response for John Kerry’s 2004 campaign. For his work in the political blogosphere, the Washington Post said Peter had helped pioneer “a whole new way of campaigning.” In 2007, he was named Internet Director for Hillary Clinton for President and remained an adviser until 2009.