Joseph Patrick "Joe" Lockhart (born July 13, 1959) is a spokesman and communications consultant, best known for being the White House Press Secretary from October 5, 1998 to September 29, 2000, during the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton. He worked as press secretary for several Democratic politicians, including Walter Mondale, Paul Simon, and Michael Dukakis; he was an advisor to John Kerry during his 2004 presidential campaign. He subsequently founded and became managing director of the communications consulting firm Glover Park Group, a position he held until June 2011, when Facebook recruited him to become its company spokesman. In 2013, he rejoined Glover Park Group.
Born in The Bronx, Lockhart is the son of Raymond Lockhart, a longtime NBC producer associated with the Huntley-Brinkley Report and special-events coverage. He was born in the Bronx, and grew up in Suffern, New York. In 1978 he moved to Washington D.C. to attend Georgetown University where he received a BA in History. In 1980, he worked on Jimmy Carter's presidential reelection campaign.
He was press secretary for the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter Mondale, then worked for Paul Simon in the Senate. Stints with ABC and CNN followed, then the Michael Dukakis campaign. He moved to Robinson, Lake, Lerer & Montgomery with Mike McCurry, then back to ABC when they hired his (former) wife and colleague from the Mondale campaign Laura Logan. Another gig with NBC covering the Romanian Revolution of 1989 preceded his first on-air job with Sky News reporting on the Gulf War and then business. Private practice with Robinson, Lake followed, where he handled publicity for the Al Nahayan family during parts of the BCCI scandal.
At a time when Lockhart was considering working for AOL, Mike McCurry recruited Lockhart back into politics, and he joined the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign. He served as the campaign spokesman and, following President Clinton's successful reelection, as Deputy Press Secretary to McCurry. After standing in for him on occasion to brief the press, Lockhart eventually succeeded McCurry and delivered his first briefing as Press Secretary on October 5, 1998.
Lockhart handled the press during the Clinton impeachment trials.
Lockhart was brought on to the John Kerry presidential campaign as a senior advisor in September 2004.
On September 8, 2004, CBS News aired a controversial report on presidential candidate George W. Bush's military record. The authenticity of the Killian documents used in that report are under scrutiny. In the course of the next few days, it was discovered that Joseph Lockhart, then senior advisor to presidential candidate John Kerry, had made a phone call to Texas National Guard officer, Bill Burkett on September 4, 2004. Lockhart stated later that an unnamed female CBS producer asked him to contact Burkett. Lockhart has denied that the call with Burkett had anything to do with the National Guard issue.
Lockhart co-founded the consulting firm Glover Park Group, becoming its Managing Director.
On February 15, 2016 Lockhart was introduced as the new executive vice president of communications and top public relations official for the National Football League.
In 2013, Lockhart married Giovanna Gray. In 2016, it was announced that President Obama and his family planned to rent Lockhart's Kalorama home after he left office. .
It was later revealed that President and Mrs. Obama purchased the house from the Lockharts in May of 2017, saying that it made sense to own the property since they would still be living in Washington for at least another two years.