Gus Portela

Communications and Public Affairs Director

Gustavo Portela joins Strategic Elements as Communications and Public Affairs Director, bringing a wealth of experience from his diverse background in politics, public affairs, and communications across the country. 

Before joining Strategic Elements, Gus served as Communications Director for the Michigan House of Representatives, where he played a pivotal role in shaping a caucus-wide legislative agenda and effectively communicating complex policies to the public. Prior to working in the Michigan Legislature, Gus held senior leadership roles with the Michigan Republican Party, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director, where he strategized and executed comprehensive communication plans to advance the party’s objectives. 

Gus also served as Senior Press Secretary and Director of Media Relations for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, where he led mayoral communication and media efforts related to public safety, military and defense, COVID-19, housing policy, and short-term vacation rentals. Gus served as Communications Director and Senior Advisor to Kevin Faulconer’s campaign for Governor of California. In this role, he spearheaded the campaign’s messaging to Latino voters and led general media outreach efforts, resulting in millions of dollars in earned media during the 2021 special election. 

During his tenure in Washington, D.C., Gus held several executive positions with nonprofits and issue advocacy organizations, including serving as National Executive Director of Accuracy in Media, Director of External Affairs and operations for the Hispanic Leadership Fund, and Senior Policy Advisor to the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce. His deep involvement in Republican politics included serving as Political Director and Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.  

Gustavo’s contributions as a Republican strategist have been recognized through his frequent appearances on various media outlets, including Fox News & Business, CNN, CNN Latino, Telemundo, Univision, Huffington Post Live, The Hill TV, C-SPAN, Reuters TV, CBC, and NTN24. He has received several accolades, including being named to Newsmax’s 30 most influential Latino Republicans under 30 in 2016, 2017, and 2018, as well as Red Alert Politics “30 under 30” in 2015. In 2020, he was honored as one of Maverick PAC’s Future 40, a prestigious award recognizing rising stars within the conservative movement. His talent also extends to political advertising, as he wrote the script for a political ad that received a 2014 Reed Award for Best Spanish Web Video. 

Portela is a proud Puerto Rico native and was raised in Grand Rapids, MI. He resides in San Diego, CA with his wife. 

Gus Portela portrait


Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Fun Facts

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, which has led him to become a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado.
Survived a category 5 hurricane while vacationing in the Virgin Islands.
Lover of golf (mediocre), College football (Go Blue!) and the NFL (Fantasy Football enthusiast).
Rachel Eason
Kim Kelzer