Ben Haddad’s clients benefit from a perspective gained from his leadership at all levels of government, as an executive for a Fortune 500 company and the leader of a major Chamber of Commerce. His strengths are in government relations, internal and external communications strategy, and corporate communications. Haddad joined California Strategies in 2006 as a Principal and established the firm’s office in San Diego. Since joining California Strategies, Haddad has worked to expand San Diego’s economy and maximize the potential of its airport, and advance the possibility of a new offshore maritime industry.
Prior to joining California Strategies, Haddad was senior vice president for communications at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500 company formerly headquartered in La Jolla, California. His wide-ranging responsibilities included communications strategy development and implementation, corporate events, and community and government relations. During this time, he also served as an appointee to the San Diego County Water Authority and as an Alternate to the California Coastal Commission.Haddad has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and served as its Chairman in 2009. He continues to serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
His leadership abilities were honed while serving as Governor Pete Wilson’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Cabinet Secretary, a position that demanded managing the Governor’s 12 cabinet secretaries and 75 department directors, and implementing the Governor’s policy agenda. This was Haddad’s second tour with the Wilson Administration, having directed California’s Washington, D.C. office from 1991 to 1993. He later served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Resources Agency.
Following Governor Wilson’s re-election in 1994, Haddad was named Chief of Staff to San Diego Mayor Susan Golding. Highlights of his tenure with Mayor Golding include her re-election to a second term by a whopping 78 percent of the electorate, and the successful staging of the 1996 Republican National Convention.
Haddad’s senior management experience in these state and local posts followed his decade of service at the federal level, serving as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Bill Lowery, and handling the Congressman’s committee work on both the Space Science & Applications Subcommittee and the Appropriations Committee.
Twice named one of San Diego Magazine’s “50 to Watch,” Haddad has served, and continues to serve, on numerous non-profit boards. Current assignments include The San Diego Foundation, LEAD San Diego and the National Conflict Resolution Center.
Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Haddad graduated from the University of Southern California in 1977 with a degree in philosophy. He earned his Juris Doctor three years later at the University of San Diego School of Law, and attended a post-graduate program at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government in 1990.