Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Matt Dorsey, SF city attorney’s longtime gay spokesman, announces resignation

Matt Dorsey plans to leave the SF city attorney's office in September. Photo: Andrea Guzman

Matt Dorsey plans to leave the SF city attorney’s office in September. Photo: Andrea Guzman

Matt Dorsey, the longtime gay spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, has announced his resignation from the office. He plans to depart after Labor Day in order to assist with a smooth transition of the role.

After 14 years serving as Herrera’s main press representative, Dorsey has been hired by Lighthouse Public Affairs as a partner and will oversee the firm’s communications and media relations practice. The firm is the result of a merger last month between Barbary Coast Consulting and Goodyear, Peterson, Hayward and Associates.

While his decision is “bittersweet,” Dorsey told the Bay Area Reporter he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work for Lighthouse and return to the private sector. He will be the firm’s 12th employee.

“This is an exciting time right now to be a communications professional. The media landscape is changing dramatically, but the market place of ideas is more vibrant than ever,” said Dorsey, who is also the departing secretary for the local Democratic Party after opting not to run again for a seat on the Democratic County Central Committee. “It is times like these where innovators get to re-write the rules. I can’t imagine a better place to do that than at a firm like Lighthouse.”

Lighthouse Partner Rich Peterson said Dorsey would focus on communication strategy and crisis communication for the firm’s clients, which include Cisco, Dolby, the San Francisco Giants, and AT&T. That side of the firm’s business, said Peterson, has lagged compared to its political strategy and lobbying work.

“We don’t know of anybody in the business more talented than Matt and more respected than Matt,” said Peterson. “The opportunity for him to join our firm is really exciting.”

Among the highlights of Dorsey’s time working for Herrera were the office’s nine-year legal battle to win marriage rights for same-sex couples, both at the state and federal level, as well as the court struggle to ensure City College of San Francisco did not shutter due to a fight over its accreditation.

“I think, personally, the marriage case was something that felt like having a front row seat to history,” said Dorsey, adding that, “it was extremely high profile and a lot of press work involved in it. And I am grateful to be a part of that.”

Herrera described Dorsey as a “tremendous asset” who will be sorely missed.

“In a lot of ways Matt is irreplaceable, not just for his talent and his commitment to the city, but for his personal integrity, his passion and his fun,” said Herrera. “I am going to miss him terribly but know he will do a great job in his next endeavor. We will do our very best to find somebody to step into his shoes.”

Re-elected to another four-year term last November, Herrera said Dorsey’s departure should not be seen as signaling what his own future plans will be. Already, some have speculated he may opt not to run again in 2019.

“The only thing people should read into it is Matt Dorsey wants to go make some money,” quipped Herrera.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 27, 2016 @ 1:07 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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