Treasury Secretary John Snow swore in Rob Nichols as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs on August 6, 2003. Nominated for the position by President George W. Bush on April 10, 2003, Nichols was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 1, 2003.
As Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Nichols oversees all public affairs efforts for an $11 billion federal agency with 117,000 employees and plays a leading role in educating the American people about tax and currency policy, debt management, Social Security and Medicare financing, and a host of international issues that impact the U.S. economy. As the chief spokesman for the Treasury Department and Secretary Snow, Nichols designs and implements policies, communications strategies, and programs that will increase the public's knowledge and understanding of Treasury's activities and services among the news media, business groups, consumer groups, and other government agencies.
In addition to managing all communications, press, media and speechwriting personnel and programs, Nichols also oversees the Office of Public Liaison, which conducts outreach to business, advocacy and financial communities including Wall Street; elicits information, analysis and opinions from public and private organizations representing business and consumer interests; and communicates Treasury and Bush Administration views to these entities.
Since the beginning of the Bush Administration, Nichols has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. In that position, Nichols was responsible for media relations for the Department of the Treasury. This involved planning strategy on how to present issues to the media; representing senior Treasury officials to the media; providing tactical communications counsel; acting as a Treasury spokesman; and representing the Bush Administration's views on issues to the press, and through them, to the general public. On a day-to-day basis, Nichols arranged interviews, press conferences, background briefings, photo opportunities, and responded to questions from the media.
Before joining the Department of the Treasury, Nichols served as Communications Director for the Electronic Industries Alliance. Previously, he served as Communications Director for Senator Slade Gorton and as Press Secretary for Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn. Earlier in his career, Nichols was the Political Director for the Washington State Republican Party. During the George H.W. Bush administration, he worked at the White House as an aide in the Office of the Chief of Staff, and at the Department of Transportation in the Office of the Secretary. A native of Seattle, Washington, Nichols is a graduate of George Washington University.