Francessa Wakem Cox is a Principal at Cox Petersen Group. Cox Petersen provides communications, research, fundraising, corporate and political event planning and issue advocacy and management solutions to political, non-profit and corporate organizations. Known for her dedication to her clients, Francessa has influenced the direction of political finance and issue advocacy activities for two decades.
Francessa began her career in the Government Relations division at The American Bankers Association and then moved to the Democratic National Committee in 1993 under then Chairman Terry McAuliffe (now the Governor of Virginia). She continued that career path to the 1996 Presidential campaign of President Bill Clinton. Francessa then spent two years as a lobbyist for the MWW Group and then a consultant for Fleishman-Hillard International Relations focusing on public private partnership building for firm clients including The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, The National Institutes of Health and the Social Security Administration.
Francessa is a veteran Democratic fundraiser whose clients have included Congressman Mel Watt (D-NC), Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Congressman Albert Wynn (D-MD), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV). Along with raising money, Francessa has been part of the PAC spending strategy team for Chesapeake Energy and Parsons Corporation and has also worked on events for the New York Stock Exchange, The Hill newspaper, PCIAA (Property Casualty Insurance Association of America), The US Institute of Peace (USIP) and The Louisa Swain Foundation.
Francessa has produced several conferences and special events for clients such as Women Thrive Worldwide (WTW) and The Women’s Center of Vienna, VA – a group that delivers leadership and educational programming to over 800 women. When Francessa worked for the DNC she organized several large annual conferences for the Democratic Business Council and produced their special events for the 1996 Democratic Convention.
During the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, Francessa assisted the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America with coordination of their housing needs, budget and special events, including a reception for over 200 guests honoring Congressional staff. She also advised on the special events at the DNC for The Hill newspaper. Francessa has produced special events at previous national conventions including a concert for over 1000 guests at the DNC sponsored by AFLAC featuring the Goo Goo Dolls in Boston, MA and a concert for over 2000 guests featuring Martina McBride for the RNC in New York, NY.
Francesssa resides in McLean, VA with her husband and three children.