MICHAEL OLIVA joined Sykes Global Communications as President in 2017.
Michael employs over two decades of profound industry experience to oversee our political communications, strategy operations, and overall PR campaigns. His sophisticated use of intensive demographic research and audience targeting provides our clients with the invaluable insights necessary to achieve the utmost success in civic engagement, political and marketing campaigns, with a keen focus on social accountability.
Michael began his civic, political and marketing career in 1996 as a door-to-door canvasser and fundraiser for Clean Water Action in Boston, and as the New York Daily News writes, “has gone on to win long-shot races all over the (New York) city.” He has served as a campaign manager, media strategist, and field coordinator on numerous local, state-wide and national electoral efforts, including Barack Obama for President, Bill Bradley for President and Clinton/Gore Victory '96, where he served as College Student Coordinator throughout Suffolk County, New York.
During the nineties, Michael worked in the municipal offices of Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger and New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, where he developed an early reputation as an energetic political organizer always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done no matter how difficult the obstacles before him.
In 2002, Michael was a lead organizer for Listening to the City, an historic gathering held at the Jacob Javitz Center in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, where 4,500 diverse residents from the New York City tri-state area joined to provide input in shaping the redevelopment of Ground Zero and the future of Lower Manhattan. That year, he also worked with the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and the SmokeLess States®: National Tobacco Policy Initiative to administer educational outreach around the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act (Intro 256a) and its benefits to the health of workers routinely exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke. After the legislation passed as New York City Local Law 47, Michael worked on its implementation process by producing a series of public awareness events throughout New York.
Crowned the “Court Contest King” by the New York Daily News, from 2002 through 2008 Michael won six consecutive judicial campaigns as manager, each of which were seen as long-shot candidacies. His articles on topics ranging from politics to government to restaurant reviews have appeared in City & State, New York Civic, and Politico New York. As a consultant, Michael has helped to organize fundraising events for the New York Women’s Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the Bronx Family Court Bar Association.
Michael is a recurring political analyst for Spectrum Cable’s New York One News, and a frequent guest on its signature political show, “Inside City Hall.” He has also appeared as a featured guest analyst on City & State Magazine’s City & State TV. For two years, Michael participated as an expert panelist at the Museum of the City of New York for discussions on topics ranging from judicial selection and ethics to presidential elections.
Michael serves as Lead Adjunct Professor at the Professional Development Program at CREW (Civically Re-Engaged Women). He has guest lectured on politics, government and U.S. History at Columbia Law School and Baruch College. In 2011, Michael founded the Metro Theater Project, a community driven effort to restore the historic theater on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and actively and proudly served as an Executive Committee Member of the Mid-Manhattan NAACP, where he chaired the Civic Engagement Committee though 2013.
Michael has won 7 countywide races. In 2013, he served as strategic consultant to Gale Brewer’s resoundingly successful run for Manhattan Borough President, and in 2015 was a consultant to Weschester County Surrogate Judge Brandon Sall's first election victory. Michael has also managed the successful campaigns of New York County Surrogate Judge Nora Anderson and New York County Civil Court Judge Nancy Bannon, both elected in 2008. In 2017, he served as a consultant to Ellen Edwards, who won a borough-wide civil court campaign in Brooklyn. In 2018, he maintained his 3-0 undefeated record in surrogate court races as a Lead Advisor to the campaign of Kings County Surrogate Judge Elect Harriet Thompson, and was an advisor in the civil court re-election campaign of Kings County Supreme Court Justice Ingrid Joseph.
Michael and his wife Ronnie helped to make history together as media consultants for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who in 2018 won a stunning victory by defeating 10-term Congressman Joseph Crowley in a Democratic primary in New York's 14th Congressional District.