About Peter


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, with a detour as a successful jazz keyboardist and producer. Peter lived in Lebanon during his teens 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 session 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.”

Background

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.

Music

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.

Advocacy

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. 

Advising

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. 

Follow Peter on Twitter


@PeterDaou

Clients


 

Peter advises organizations, companies and campaigns on digital media and strategic communications. Following is a selection of his clients, past and present:

  • PRNewswire
  • One Voice
  • DOE
  • Microsoft
  • CGIedited
  • CFTFK
  • Clinton
  • Bloomberg-Philanthropiesedited
  • AAH
  • UN Foundation
  • AARP
  • Intel

Media


Peter has appeared frequently in major media outlets as a digital media analyst and political strategist. Following are selected excerpts:

 

 

Writing


  • Why violence is worse than other existential threats

    “No more hurting people” – Martin Richard, 8, killed in Boston Marathon attack. Violence: “The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.” The […]

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  • Tobacco kills: grim stats on smoking

     UPDATE: “Hazardous Child Labor in US Tobacco Farming” “If current trends continue, tobacco will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century.” – CNN Tobacco companies sell deadly, addictive poison to the public. Consider these grim stats: Smoking remains America’s leading cause of disease and preventable death, resulting in more than 443,000 fatalities […]

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  • The black curtain – on death, fear and hope

    At the age of seven, my nephew composed a 13-word rhyme as simple and powerful as anything I’ve ever heard: Soon it comes to every person, see it happen in one black curtain. Years later, I’m still mystified that a child could conjure such a cogent description of mortality. Perhaps that knowledge is programmed in […]

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  • Ten self-destructive human habits

    1. Our addiction to fossil fuels is cooking the only planet we’ll ever have. Instead of dealing with the problem, many simply deny it. 2. Human males abuse, beat, rape, maim and murder their mothers, sisters and daughters – those who give them life and sustain them. 3. People who toss balls around, gamble on […]

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  • The pervasive oppression of women and girls

    The greatest travesty of human life: One out of every three women will be a victim of violence in her lifetime. In some parts of the world a girl is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. Murder is a leading cause of death for pregnant women. The children most at […]

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  • Threats to justice everywhere

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” April 16, 1963 Those searing words are as apt today as they were a half […]

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  • The torture of disabled children in American schools

    If this isn’t torture, I’m not sure what is: Rose had speech and language delays. At school, her mother and I found Rose standing alone on the cement floor of a basement mop closet, illuminated by a single light bulb. There was nothing in the closet for a child — no chair, no books, no […]

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  • Why Patton Oswalt was wrong about the Boston bombing

    Patton Oswalt’s beautiful and heartfelt Facebook post understandably struck a chord with a nation stunned by the carnage in Boston: This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring […]

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  • The top ten list you shouldn’t be reading

    A new year’s list of travesties: It costs just 25 cents a day to provide a child with the vitamins and nutrients to grow up healthy, but every hour of every day, 300 children die from malnutrition. One in seven people on earth goes to bed hungry each night while the top 40 highest-earning hedge […]

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  • Climate change compendium: three years of climate coverage in one post

    This post is a chronological compilation of news and opinion on our ever-worsening climate calamity. To set the stage, watch this video: 131 years of global warming in 26 seconds Then read this essential piece explaining why the climate story is beyond anything the media has ever reported. Yahoo News (1/31/14) Prince Charles has called […]

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