Christy Setzer is the President of New Heights Communications, a public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. She brings nearly two decades of experience providing smart, creative, and hard-hitting communications strategies to the advocacy, political and corporate arenas. Her work can be seen in the messages delivered by CEOs, elected officials from the presidential to local level, and a variety of advocacy organizations.

Prior to starting New Heights in 2010, Setzer served as a spokesperson for three presidential campaigns—including as Iowa press secretary for Vice President Al Gore, spokeswoman for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and national press secretary for Senator Christopher J. Dodd.

At the AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Service Employees International Union, where she worked as national media director, Setzer battled right-wing efforts to discredit and shut down funding for the organizations while highlighting the grassroots activities of hundreds of affiliates. As a direct mail consultant for The Strategy Group, Christy charted the successful roadmaps to win several open seats in the state legislatures of Wisconsin and Colorado.

Christy founded New Heights Communications to drive strategy for those looking to make change in Washington and throughout the country. She frequently appears on cable television offering Democratic perspective on current events, and is a regular guest on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business News. Christy also enjoys speaking on women’s leadership issues, public relations and politics, and has addressed students at the George Washington University School of Business, American University’s Institute for Politics, the Public Relations Student Society of America group at Howard University and the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.

She serves on the board of the DC Employment Justice Center. Christy is a graduate of Vassar College and lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Tyler Prell, and son, Daley.

Jaime Horn is a Senior Vice President with New Heights, where she brings nearly 20 years of experience in communications and politics. As a consultant for Blue Engine Message & Media, Jaime managed a team that was responsible for garnering national and regional coverage for corporate and non-profit initiatives alike, including the launch of the best-selling book, “Moneyball for Government,” and Even the Score, a campaign for women’s sexual health about which The New York Times said, “the controversial campaign … helped tip the balance for flibanserin, which has been rejected twice by the FDA.” As Vice President of Communications for progressive radio network, Air America Radio, Jaime managed proactive communications strategies to promote the national radio network and directed crisis response plans amid numerous conservative attacks on the network and on-air talent. Jaime began her communications career in 2002 as a Senior Publicist and Editorial Associate for Miramax Books where she helped develop and implement publicity campaigns for numerous New York Times best-sellers, including Tim Russert’s “BIG RUSS & ME,” former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright’s “MADAM SECRETARY” and Queen Noor of Jordan’s “LEAP OF FAITH.”.

Aurora Matthews is an award-winning writer and communications and public affairs strategist. As Vice President at New Heights Communications she brings more than ten years of experience in D.C. communications and public affairs.

Prior to joining New Heights Communications, Aurora was a publicist at Sunshine Sachs for various global affairs, social issues and nonprofit clients including the Malala Fund, Jean Case and the Case Foundation, Water for People and Facing Addiction.

She also worked at The Hatcher Group, connecting nonprofits and foundations to policymakers and the media. While there, Aurora led a communications campaign – using a strategy that mixed traditional media with innovative digital and online media actions – as part of a successful coalition to repeal the death penalty in Maryland.

She also earned her master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). Her research focused on state and human security issues, particularly human trafficking, genocide and inter- and intra-ethnic conflicts. While working toward her degree, Aurora worked the Ford Institute for Human Security and served as an editor for the Pitt Policy Journal.

Aurora also served on the board of FAIR Girls, an international nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. focused on the prevention of the exploitation of girls who have experienced homelessness, life inside the foster care system, sexual abuse, and trafficking.

Derek Haviland ​has nearly a decade of PR experience, with work spanning from music and entertainment to politics and advocacy. Derek is a Communications & Digital Strategist with New Heights Communications, catering specifically to clients in the entertainment, education, nonprofit and government sectors. For four years, Derek worked closely with the Connecticut House Speaker on communications and development, before joining Connecticut Association for Community Action, more commonly known as CAFCA, as the network’s Communications & Outreach Director. Derek also owns a northeast-based artist booking and talent agency with a roster of nationally touring artists. He is a graduate of Champlain College and lives in Philadelphia.

Solace Duncan is a Senior Associate at New Heights. She was inspired to champion important causes during an international campaign to promote couple’s HIV counseling in Zambia. She enjoys crafting messages, coalition building, and creating a digital footprint to elevate client profiles and reputation in the media. Most recently, Solace served as the lead communications officer at the Ethiopian Community Development Council, a national refugee resettlement agency, and continues to serve as the Communications Director for Refugee Congress, a project of UNHCR. She holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from the George Washington University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Howard University.

Jimmy Donofrio is the Director of Digital Strategy at New Heights Communications, helping our clients discover, build, and expand their online presence through social media, web development, branding, and design. An alum of the Democratic National Committee as their Deputy Media Director, and advocacy group Americans United for Change as their Digital Director, Jimmy boasts a diverse background in digital communications and a portfolio that reaches beyond political media into the realms of sports, entertainment, and merchandising. He is a Gold Pollie Award-winning web developer and a Reed Award-winning ad maker. Jimmy is a graduate of Temple University and lives in Washington, DC.

Eissa Saeed is a media strategist and writer whose work employs communication tactics to create narratives that challenge sociopolitical ideas. He has held positions in various fields, ranging from reporting for Reuters to running communications for nonprofit organizations to researching representation of police violence in American media. Effective storytelling remains at the core of his work in strategic communication, journalism, and creative writing. Eissa is also a playwright and a published poet. He holds a BA from Bennington College and an MA from the George Washington University.