Bio

Photo by Janet Knott, Boston Globe

Seth Gitell is a writer, political analyst and communications consultant. His consulting work for corporate and nonprofit clients focuses on writing, public relations, media training, crisis management, and public affairs.

Gitell.com has been cited in the print editions of The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. A former WordPress “Blog of the Day,” it has been linked to at Slate, Boston.com and Politico, among other sites.

He appears frequently as a political analyst on New England Cable News. He has lectured on communications strategy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Northeastern University. He speaks frequently on press, politics and communications.

From 2003 to 2006, Gitell served as press secretary to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. According to The Boston Globe, “Gitell presided over media relations during some of the best and worst times of Menino’s tenure.” As the senior communications official for the City of Boston, Gitell oversaw and coordinated press efforts for all municipal agencies often managing complex crisis situations. Besides having managed day-to-day media inquiries on everything from snow removal to homeland security, Gitell has helped craft and execute media strategy for such historic events as the first national political convention after September 11, the first Red Sox World Championship win since 1917, “rolling rallies” to celebrate two New England Patriots Super Bowl victories, and the May 17, 2004 first-in-the-nation issuance of same-sex marriage licenses at Boston’s City Hall.

Most recently, Gitell analyzed the 2008 presidential race as a columnist and contributing editor of The New York Sun. His work also appeared in Boston Magazine.

 Before joining the Mayor’s staff, Gitell covered local, state and national politics for The Boston Phoenix. While there, Gitell was the first journalist to write about the central role that Senator John Kerry’s Vietnam service would play in his presidential campaign. Gitell was also the first to suggest the positive trajectory Mitt Romney would enjoy if he chose to return to the Commonwealth from Utah and run for governor.

 Previously, Gitell served as the Washington D.C. correspondent for the Forward, a national Jewish weekly newspaper, where he covered the White House, the State Department, Congress and national politics. His coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s successful senate campaign resulted in two front-page splashes in the New York Post: “Hillary’s Chutzpah,” regarding the then-first lady’s shift on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and later “Oy Vey! Hillary’s Almost Jewish,” which revealed for the first time that she has Jewish relatives. Gitell has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN’s Inside Politics, Keller-at-Large, NECN’s Newsnight and other local news programs. He has guest hosted on WTKK 96.9 FM Talk with Michele McPhee of The Boston Herald.

He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times. His article, “The Democratic Party Suicide Bill,” concerning the ramifications of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, was published in the July/August 2003 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.

A graduate of the New York University School of Law, Gitell is a member of the Massachusetts and New York bars. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard College. Gitell’s senior thesis in history, “Broken Promise: The Story of U.S. Army Special Forces and the Dega People in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, 1961 – 1965” was published by Radix Press in 1996. He, his wife and son currently live in Roslindale, Mass with their son.

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40 Responses to “Bio”

  1. Jim Gitell Says:

    This website is a journalistic masterpiece. I will return.

  2. Albie Sherman Says:

    I am certain this website will be a great reflection of your columns; e.g. genuinely informative, superbly prepared, hard-hitting (when necessary) and a “must read” for anybody in, about or around the public’s business whether that “business” is politics, entertainment, sports and, of course, food!

  3. Helen Wong Says:

    Hi Seth,
    How are you? Very cool blog! Your departure is such a great loss to City Hall, but I wish you all the BEST with all your future endeavors. Come visit Gerry and me in the Election Department one day, okay? 🙂 – Helen

  4. Victor M. Kreisman Says:

    With your backround, this website will be one of most sucesfull site, I for one will enjoy it and look forward to it.

    Always enjoyed your articles that your father send me , wishing you the best on your website.

    Victor K. Chapter 51 Special Force Asn, Las Vegas, NV

  5. Wendy Singer Says:

    excellent blog! well written!

  6. Michael Kineavy Says:

    seth,
    Your biography is well done, but you humbly understated your role when you were press secretary to Mayor Menino. You worked at the heart beat of our great city, and were constant and loyal and smart. On behalf of the citizens of Boston, thank you for your service! All of my best to you in your future endeavors.
    michael

    p.s. Let me know when the food tastings start!

  7. Don Carlson Says:

    Way to go, Seth. I confess that this is my very first visit to a blog. Yes, I am indeed a version blogger, and have never even been tempted to blog before you came along. I’m looking forward to learning the nuances of this new medium under your tutelage. How’s that for a nice role reversal.
    Good luck with the new endeavors. I’ve enjoyed reading the pieces so far and hope to see you soon.

  8. don carlson Says:

    OK, I meant “virgin blogger.” Damn spellcheck. At least that proves I really am new to the medium.

  9. David Guarino Says:

    Seth,
    Good to see you back in the world of the printed word. We certainly need more informed voices like yours in the blogosphere. Keep it up.

  10. charles woodliff Says:

    Seth: Your father told me about you and your website. I am very much relieved to discover that you are a straight shooter with integrity and a magnificent clarity of thought; a good writer of well thought out positions. Your father, on the other hand, is an aggressive, devious, prevaricating, slippery, stomp ’em while they’re down street fighter–an accomplished con artist taking advantage of the aged and infirm at every turn. And that is just at the poker table; who knows what he’s like away from that arena? You can take great pride in the fact that you have risen above, and triumphed over, such awful stuff. Congratulations.

  11. bryna Says:

    let’s hear more about football. not that T.O stuff either – real football! seriously though – great job. i’ve read every post and check every day for more.

  12. Howe, Peter J. Says:

    Hi, Seth. It’s great to have you back over here on our side! Congratulations on a great blog and I hope your successor can fill your huge shoes at City Hall.
    Cheers,
    PJH ’86, Mr. Main Stream Media Guy

  13. Laura Siegel Says:

    Hi Seth – We worked together at the Phoenix in 1999. I just Googled you and came across your site – will definitely bookmark it! I’d love to get back in touch.

    Laura

  14. Adam Says:

    Seth,
    You forgot to mention you grew up on “B” st. playing football in the street, and running into parked cars (not sure who threw that pass, however, dickie still isn’t too happy). I will send you an email.

    Adam

  15. David Brown Says:

    Seth,

    I find it ironic that you bash Senator Webb for his militaristic tribalism. You married outside the tribe right? You would let your daughter do so right?

    You served in the military in combat too right like the not over-represented members (in the mil,itary) of your tribe and you college. Seth you are like all those NY Sun boys -suited up sissies with not much of anywhere to go but cyberspace. But I will enjoy your blog. It is good to know what the enemy in the Amen Corner think.

  16. gitell Says:

    Many Gitell.com readers are probably aware of the following facts. For those who aren’t. My father, the son of Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants, served as a U.S. Army Special Forces lieutenant in Vietnam. He was based at Tien Binh and Vinh Gia. The president and editor-in-chief of The New York Sun, Seth Lipsky, served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a combat reporter for the Pacific Stars & Stripes.

  17. Bo Holland Says:

    Seth,
    I miss you and just found out about your blog. I’ve bookmarked it and will be a regular reader and responder.
    Last Tuesday was one of the Red Letter election days in my lifetime and I have high hopes for our new governor and Congress.
    I’ll be interested to follow your observations on these and other political developments. Mitt Romney should be impeached.
    Regards,
    Bo

  18. Ari and Emily Says:

    So our turkish conversation last week got you back to Brookline eh? I still haven’t mustered the energy to try to make turkish delight. …maybe someone can show me how.

    Great writing! Fun to read.

  19. Mike Lynch Says:

    Seth:

    Great piece last week on Sen.-elect James Webb. I forwarded it to my brother in Leesburg — we’ll get you a Va. following!

    Look forward to transition analysis from you on Beacon Hill.

    Mike L

  20. Julie Hymovitch Says:

    It is amazing what one can find with “google” these days. I am very proud of your work and read the pieces your father sends thoroughly. You are an amazing journalist, Seth. Also, Mazel Tov and Happy Belated Birthday!

  21. Johnathan L. Abbinett Says:

    Dear Seth,

    Don’t know if you recall meeting me or not, I think it was at a SF Christmas Party a couple of years ago. Just wanted to tell you your Dad is one of the greatest guys I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know – everybody loves him.

    Happy to learn of your website, and background, as I’ve been writing my column “A Veteran’s Voice” for a couple of years now – so, we have that in common. Let me know if I can help you out on any political or military issues as they impact veterans!

    You’ve got one of the most beautiful websites I’ve ever seen – very well set up, easy on the eyes and intuitive!

  22. Dennis Peacock Says:

    Having perused the content of this collection of dispatches for the last three hours, I am pleased to share two conclusions: Gitell is as thoughtful and insightful as ever; and, I could do more pushups than he could in high school, and I can still do more push-ups than he can. Time to get some more coffee and continue reading. Outstanding.

  23. Cheesehead-in-Recovery Says:

    So, Mr. Gitell, when will one of your staffers be covering the Mexican restaruant scene in Brighton? The noteworthy mexican sangria and cheese fondue are blog-worthy.

  24. JAMES Says:

    Seth…
    Read your NY Sun column about hip hop in light of the Imus affair.
    Being a producer at MSNBC I have spent the week listening and reading a lot of misinformed commentary about hip hop music.
    You, my friend, have fallen into the same trap as so many others who are eager to shovel dirt on a very creative and necessary form of entertainment.
    Please do a better job of delineating the differences that are in hip hop. In your rush to be critical you did a poor job — despite your refernece to GIRLZ radio — describing the nuances that exist in hip hop. Not all hip hop is gangsta or misogynistic. Sure some of it is, but not all of it. YOu would have served your audience better by giving us examples of both the GOOD and BAD that exists in hip hop.

    James Hamilton
    Producer, Longform Programming
    MSNBC

  25. Susan Ovans Says:

    Hey Seth. Very fun article about your new kitchen in the Globe. We’re really enjoying the blog, too. Not only are we proud that we knew you when, I’m really proud that I hired you first. Funny, though, your Bio doesn’t mention your stellar stint as Diner X. Looking forward to the arrival of the latest Gitell.. All best, S.

  26. Cormac Says:

    Stumbled across your blog while surfing the day away, fantastic stuff, interesting, witty and informative. Keep up the great work.

    Cormac,
    Dublin, Ireland

  27. Padraic Harrington Says:

    Great site!
    I’ve seen your articles on Political Mavens and the New York Sun and thanks to Michael Graham, I found your blog.
    Keep up the good work.

  28. Chris Connor Says:

    Seth,

    Just read the aritcle on the Police coming to Fenway. I worked with your Uncle at Gilead, he is a great guy! Keep up the good work!

  29. Greg Says:

    You are too funny Seth. Petraus for the Nobel Peace prize?! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You are a complete tool of the RNC. A man in charge of an illegal war that has killed over 3,000 American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians? A Peace Prize? BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Now, if they had a Nobel Prize for body counts, Petraus would be a shoe in. You’re not too jealous of Gore are you? You’re not a journalist, you’re a hack.

  30. Cageylefty Says:

    Seth —

    Just watched the Kadzis piece, it was interesting to hear from Peter that Mike Contompasis was doing travel and tourism, I thought he had a MUCH more important job now — 🙂

    Best from Lost Nation,

    CL

  31. Deb Stevens Says:

    Seth:
    Didn’t even know what a blog was! So now that I know you, I’ll have one to check out ’cause it’s the City that I’ve come to love. Don’t understand all the nuances of Boston, but learning about them daily! Let me know how I can help you.

    Regards,
    Deb

  32. Michael Castaldo Says:

    wait – you did not tell me you were a foodie – i am the worlds best chef. ask ken oringer 😉 he was my neighbor in sf before he moved to boston and headed tapas and then/now clio.

    really – i keep chickens so i can have fresh eggs. i am that insane. i go thought a pint of simple syrup a week and a cup of roux. i have 2 stock pots simmering now and am about to make my espangole sauce so i can finish my demi glace for the christmas rib roast gravy.

  33. Cheesehead in Recovery Says:

    Seth: Could you please comment on your fmr boss taking on a new role of, king of the cheeseheads? (Really, its the Badgers, but no one here in Boston seems to get that!)

    I can’t see him transforming himself from a life-long Bostonian to midwesterner! The politics are equally ugly, except that everyone is smiling while stabbing their enemy in the back.

  34. Kristin Says:

    I see Padraic found you. Cool! Mini-reunion! Viva la Series of Tubes!

  35. The Scott McClellan Affair « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] given the flap he’s started with his new book, as a former press secretary myself, I can’t but help to weigh in with a couple […]

  36. Michael Mooney Says:

    Thanks for recommending your blog. Great read.

    Mike

  37. Rosalind Elmquist Says:

    Seth,

    I listened to the interview on MPR on Friday July 25. Next time when you believe the world needs enlightening, please check your historical facts. JFK’s ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech did not take place at the time of the Berlin airlift; it was held on June 26, 1963. The Berlin Airlift took place in 1948 and was implemented by Truman to maintain the viability of the city of Berlin when the Russians closed the autobahn routes into the city from West Germany. The Berlin Wall was built in August of 1961. The law degree from Harvard should have taught you to check your facts before you open your mouth in a courtroom. I would want to know that my lawyer had done a better job of cecking his/her facts than you did. You might have slept through that lecture in history class, but that should have been all the more reason for you to diligently check your facts. I hope a history porfessor from Harvard listened to your rendition of history and sent you a complementary lecture on the topic of the Berlin Airlift and JFK’s speech.

  38. Brook Wiers Says:

    Dear Seth,

    I read your New York Sun column about Chuck Hawk. I scratched my head at first, “Jeez, I used to know a kid with that name in Hull — must be a common name.” Through reading the column I realized that you are the same Seth Gitell. Thanks for the column.

  39. New York Sun, 2002 - 2008. « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] As far as how this development affects me, see my updated bio. […]

  40. Municipal Leadership for Tough Times « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] I write, as always, as a former press secretary to the mayor. […]

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