Mark Walsh is a technology and media executive turned into a political strategist and campaign innovator. He was in the television industry out of college. His first job after getting his B.A. was as an anchorman and news director for a CBS Television affiliate in West Virginia.
After business school, he joined the fledgling pay-television service, Home Box Office, at its NYC headquarters. He became Director of New Business Development.
In the mid 80’s he discovered interactive services (what became the internet) and had a series or successively more senior jobs at CUC International, General Electric and America Online, where he ran the internet division and the business to business division (AOL Enterprise) which he started, and was a corporate officer.
He then joined VerticalNet as its CEO, taking the business-to-business internet company public on the Nasdaq in early 1999. At its peak, and under his guidance, the company’s market capitalization was almost 13 billion dollars.
He left day-to-day leadership in 2002 and got into politics. He was hired by DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe to be the first Chief Technology Officer for the Democratic National Committee. From there, he joined the John Kerry for President Campaign, becoming its head of internet operations. He left the Kerry campaign right after the Iowa Caucuses to become the founding CEO of AirAmerica Radio, the liberal talk radio network featuring Al Franken.
He continues to be active in Democratic Politics, advising a number of Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Congressional and national races on tactics and strategies, particularly surrounding internet advocacy and fundraising. Walsh is the Chair of the New Leaders Council, a breeding ground for high potential young professionals who are training to be the next generation of Progressive leaders, as well as the Bipartisan Policy Council, founded to pursue a more functional and functioning legislative process by bringing disparate views together.
Walsh co-hosts a weekly talk-radio show on XM Satellite Radio, called “Left-Jab.” He is a frequent commentator on MSNBC, CNBC and other radio stations, and has been invited to speak on the future of political media, internet tactics and strategies at The National Press Club, the US Senate Democratic Caucus, CSPAN, UVA’s Darden Business School, and a wide variety of other venues.
He is an active angel venture investor, with board of advisor or director roles in a number of start-ups and turnaround companies over the last eight years.
Walsh has an undergraduate degree from Union College in New York, (where is he is vice-chairman of the board of trustees) and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he was editor in chief of the student newspaper, Harbus News.