Widely known for his strategic expertise by individuals and organizations on both sides of the political aisle and inside and outside the public relations industry, TJ Bucholz has more than 20 years of experience providing policy and communications counsel to leaders in the private, public, and philanthropic sectors. He specializes in strategic communication, issue management, message development, political advocacy, crisis communication, image consultation, and media relations.
Recruited to state government in 1999 by Republican Gov. John Engler, TJ has a decade of experience of directing communications and advocacy in the Executive Branch for both Engler and Democratic Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm, having served as communications director for the Michigan Department of Education and the State Board of Education, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. TJ also worked in the Executive Office as communications director for Michigan Lt. Governor John D. Cherry.
TJ also has the unique experience of serving as senior program officer for United States Program Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Wash., from 2008 to 2010, developing strategic initiatives, advocacy partnerships, and media campaigns in concert with a host of grantees.
From 2011 to 2014, TJ worked in the private sector at a Michigan investor relations and public relations firm. In the company’s Lansing office, he led nearly $1 million worth of billable work for a wide array of clients in the education, financial services, defense, energy, and health care sectors.
TJ holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University, and a Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He also was a 2003 Fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) at Michigan State University, the country’s most respected bi-partisan political training program. TJ also has completed Executive Education courses at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
An ardent supporter of his community, TJ believes strongly in volunteerism and is a mayoral appointee to the executive board of Downtown Lansing Inc., a founding member of the SEEDS Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting greater Lansing's public education system, an executive member of the MPLP Advisory Board, and is a voting member of the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America's executive board.
TJ has been featured as a political commentator and pundit in publications across the nation. His perspective has been featured in Politico, The National Journal, The Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, the Detroit News and Free Press, and dozens of television and radio programs. He can be heard regularly as a political contributor on the Michigan Public Radio Network's Stateside program each Friday.