Deirdre Delisi is a partner in Delisi Communications, a full-service public relations, government and political consulting business.
For the better part of a decade, Deirdre has been a policy and political advisor to Governor Rick Perry. Most notably, Deirdre served as his Chief of Staff from September 2004 to June 2007. While serving as top deputy, Deirdre managed the policy, budget, legislative and communications staff for Governor Perry and assisted in the passage of Governor Perry’s tort reform, Medicaid reform, border security and education reform initiatives.
Her tenure as Chief of Staff was marked by the successful, bipartisan effort to reform the Texas tax system and conform the state’s school finance system to Constitutional requirements. According to one observer, “The reform of school finance in 2006… was one of the great achievements of the Republican era in Texas politics. It was a responsible resolution of a crisis.”
In May of 2008, Governor Rick Perry appointed Deirdre to serve as Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission.
Deirdre also served as campaign manager for Perry’s first successful campaign for Governor in 2002. Despite being outspent by over 3-to-1, Governor Perry won the election by 18 percentage points. Deirdre is a veteran of numerous political campaigns, including Perry for Governor 2002, Bush-Cheney 2000, Perry for Lieutenant Governor 1998, and Lamar Alexander for President 1996.
Deirdre graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1994 with a BA, with honors, in Political Science and Comparative Area Studies, and she received her MA in International Policy Studies from Stanford University in 1995.
In 2005 and 2006, Capitol Inside honored Deirdre as one of the most powerful political and government advisors in Texas, noting “While Delisi can play rough if needed, she would rather out think the competition.” She and her husband, Ted, were named by Texas Monthly in 2005 as two of the most powerful Texans. They are the proud parents of twin sons, Will and David, and daughter, Cate.