Florida GOP Political Director is LI Graduate of the Week

September 19, 2011 | By Lauren Hart

September 19, 2011, Arlington, VA—Meet Brian Swensen. He is the political director for the Republican Party of Florida. Brian is this week’s LI Graduate of the Week. He manages the 2012 grassroots and field operation for the state.

“I also am in charge of managing the delegates and guests for Florida's straw poll, Presidency 5, which will be held this week. Prior to that, I was the 2010 Victory Director for Governor Rick Scott. I managed his statewide field operation of 16 offices and more than 200 staff,” Brian said.

Brian is no stranger to LI training. He has attended six: Grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote Workshop in October 2008; Public Speaking Workshop 2 in July 2008; Public Speaking Workshop in July 2008; Campaign Manager School in December 2007; the High Dollar Fundraising School in September of 2007; and the Field Program’s Youth Leadership School in August 2007.

“I had not yet managed a campaign when I took these schools and since then, I have managed three,” Brian said.

“When I got involved in the campaigns I hit the ground running and knew what I was doing in part because of my training from LI,” Brian said. “The schools I got the most out of were the Youth Leadership School and Campaign Manager School. I have been able to utilize many of the diverse topics I have learned from LI and put them to use.”

How has LI training helped Brian be more effective in Florida politics?

“I learned how to effectively build and mobilize a grassroots operation. In addition, I learned how to effectively care for and manage volunteers,” Brian said.

“Some of the best stuff I learned which I applied in Governor Scott's election were some of the basics people overlook, such as: room size in comparison to crowd size; how to make a crowd look more alive and fun then it may actually look; and manage a true grassroots staff from door to door, to phone banking, and GOTV.”

Originally born in Yonkers, New York, Brian lived in St. Croix, Virgin Islands and Middletown, New Jersey. He moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1997 and attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School.  Later, he attended Florida International University (FIU) where he was heavily involved in Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and student government while working toward his public administration degree.  After college he moved to Arlington, Virginia and worked at LI for 1.5 years. Since then he has lived in several places in Florida and is now residing in Tallahassee.

Brian continues to spur on the conservative movement through teaching as a distinguished faculty member for LI at more than 55 trainings (Youth Leadership School, Student Publications Workshops, and others) around the country. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with other young conservatives.

This week LI will travel down to the Sunshine State for the American Conservative Union’s CPAC-FL conference to train more conservatives in grassroots activism.  Please stop by our booth Friday to say hello and make sure to attend at least one of our three afternoon trainings. CPAC-Fl is being held in the South Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center.  The address is 9899 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. See you there!

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate for LI Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.