Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs
Born in New York City and raised on Long Island, Paul Teller graduated cum laude in 1993 from Duke University in Durham, NC, where he got his B.A. in political science. Before graduating, he was a research assistant to Suzanne Garment, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. Also, Paul volunteered on the Bush/Quayle ‘92 campaign in Washington and in North Carolina. After completing his undergraduate work, he went right into American University’s Ph.D. program as a Dean’s Scholar in political science. Simultaneously, he worked at the College Republican National Committee (CRNC), where he was Advertising Director for its controversial national newspaper, The Broadside, and general assistant on national conferences and public relations. After finishing his graduate coursework, he briefly worked as a research associate at The National Center for Public Policy Research. Then, Paul became Senior Advertising Account Executive for The Washington Times--National Weekly Edition, specializing in advocacy and political-fundraising advertising.
Paul was awarded his Ph.D. in 1999, at the age of 28, after completing a dissertation on how the ideological distance between U.S. senators from the same state affects representation. Shortly afterwards, he became a professional staff member for the Committee on House Administration under Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In early 2001, Paul became Legislative Director for the Republican Study Committee (RSC)—at the time the only caucus of U.S. House across-the-board conservatives, where he did legislative research, analysis, and strategy, as well as coalitions and communications work, across a broad range of issues. As the RSC’s Deputy Director, Paul continued with these responsibilities, while leading the RSC’s outreach to the business community and conservative coalitions, as well as directing the 150-person Conservative Staff Meeting. As the RSC’s Executive Director and the Conservative Movement’s point-man on the House side (having served under seven RSC chairmen—three as Executive Director), he set and implemented strategy for the RSC’s policy, communications, and coalitions efforts. In January 2014, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas—and in September 2014, the senator elevated him to Chief of Staff, where he served until August of 2016.
The Washington Post recently described Paul as “one of the most influential conservative aides in Congress.” Roll Call newspaper twice named Paul as one of its “Fabulous 50” Hill staffers for 2012—and once again in 2013. Paul was named “Capitol Hill Staffer of the Year” in 2012 at the Weyrich Awards Dinner, a gathering of top leaders of the Conservative Movement. And The Hill newspaper recently profiled him upon his elevation to Senator Cruz’s chief of staff, calling Paul “the agitator-in-chief.”
After a brief stint helping build two nonprofit organizations inspired by Senator Cruz’s nationwide grassroots network, President Donald Trump in January 2017 named him Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, where he operates in the White House as a conservative liaison to House and Senate conservatives—and to the Conservative Movement at large.
Paul also helped found the House Conservatives Fund, was the Senior Policy Advisor in 2004 for Bill Spadea for Congress (New Jersey-12), and advised the Ted Cruz for President 2016 campaign. Paul was the President of the Duke Club of Washington from 2008-2010 (and still serves on the Club’s board of directors, where he is focused on building the Duke Politics and Policy Network). He served for four years on the Board of Directors of the Duke University Alumni Association—and was on the Board’s executive committee for one year of that.
Paul regularly addresses political conferences and meetings and always seems to find time to mentor young politicos as they network their way into ever-improving political opportunities.
Paul and his wife, Maxine, who have been married since 1999, are the very proud parents of one daughter (born 2003) and one son (born 2006).