Public Affairs Leadership Summit

14 Jul, 2020

September 29-October 1, 2020
10:45 a.m.− 12:30 p.m. ET

How are public affairs professionals adapting their strategic approaches to leadership, government relations, and diversity and inclusion given the mounting pressures of conducting business virtually during a global pandemic? Join us at the Public Affair Leadership Summit to hear from leading experts on how they are revolutionizing public affairs management during an unprecedented time of change.

This program is eligible for 4 credits towards the Certificate in PAC and Grassroots Management and 6 core area credits towards the Certificate in Public Affairs Management.

This program may be applied for 5 credits toward your CAE application or renewal professional development requirements.


Tuesday, September 29

10:45 a.m.              Welcome

Introductions and learning objectives:

  • What brought you to this week’s summit?
  • What do you hope to learn?
  • What do you hope to get out of your networking experience?

11:00 a.m.         The Government Relations Toolkit for 2020-21 

How should you approach lobbying in the current political environment? What are the keys to engaging with stakeholders in an election year and preparing for a potential new administration in 2021? In this session you will learn how to: 

  • Align your state, federal and global policy teams 
  • Translate best practices into an effective and holistic public affairs strategy   
  • Manage the expectations of your C-Suite and other internal stakeholders 

Richard Gold
Partner and Public Policy & Regulation Group Leader
Holland & Knight

Toyota Motor North America, Executive Headshots December 4, 2017, Washington, D.C.(Rodney Choice/Choice Photography/

Stephen Ciccone
Group Vice President, Government Affairs
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

11:45 a.m.        Diversity and Inclusion in Public Affairs

The public affairs profession can do more to address issues surrounding diversityequity, and inclusion and create a workforce that better reflects the community it serves. Join us for a conversation on how practitioners can tackle these issues while building more effective teams. 


Ellie Shaw
Director, Federal Government Affairs
American Express

Woody_Conrad Updated Headshot

Conrad Woody
Partner & Head, US Corporate and Government Affairs Practice
Odgers Berndtson

12:30 p.m.        Adjourn

Wednesday, September 30

11:00 a.m.      Building and Managing an Integrated Public Affairs Function During Times of Uncertainty

How are executives adapting their public affairs strategies in times of uncertainty? In this session, two senior leaders will guide participants through two ways of assessing their public affairs in times of uncertainty, including:

  • Taking a strategic/process view of public affairs to ensure your organization’s public affairs function is operating effectively
  • Using a methodological view of public affairs to evaluate whether you are building for the future in all aspects of public affairs work
  • Discussing what current uncertainties mean against these two views – and making suggestions and recommendations
Beijer, Paul Headshot

Paul Beijer
Founder and Managing Director

Alan Hardacre

Alan Hardacre
Head of Corporate Affairs Strategy
Imperial Tobacco Group

11:45 a.m.       Leadership in the Age of COVID-19

With digital at the forefront, leaders must adapt their management styles to keep their teams on track and thriving. During this important conversation, we will cover: 

  • How to manage teams and motivate employees virtually 
  • Tactics to improve work from home and reduce “Zoom” fatigue 
  • How to be a strong mentor and develop younger public affairs professionals 
  • Best practices for virtually managing projects and assessing your own leadership styl 

Jeff Mascott


Richard Buckley
Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

12:30 p.m.       Adjourn


Thursday, October 1

11:00 a.m.        Measuring the Impact of Public Affairs

Demonstrating the power of your public affairs work is more important than ever. It is crucial to use the right metrics to evaluate your government relations and community engagement efforts. This session will cover the tools and best practices for showing your value to senior management, including: 

  • The most widely used measurement tactics by corporations and associations 
  • How to tailor metrics to your organization’s needs and culture 
  • Advice for defining your value proposition 
  • Case studies of measurement and benchmarking 
  • How to set objectives during uncertain times  

Doug Pinkham
Public Affairs Council

 11:45 a.m.        Interactive Problem-Solving Session

Put your new knowledge to use. Participants will be given real-life public affairs scenarios and will work in small groups to complete an interactive problem-solving exercise. Click here to access the exercise. Groups will address: 

  • Adapting public affairs and management strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic  
  • Protecting public affairs budgets to maintain an effective department 
  • Launching a new political or communications program to address racism and inequality 

Kristin Brackemyre
Director, PAC and Government Relations
Public Affairs Council

Kelly Memphis

Kelly Memphis
Manager, Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement
Public Affairs Council


Nick DeSarno
Director, Digital and Policy Communications
Public Affairs Council

12:30 p.m.        Adjourn

Event Location

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*Participants will will receive an email one week beforehand with instructions for logging on to our web-based platform. On the platform, they will be able to listen and participate through any computer or internet-enabled device, see a video of the speakers, and ask questions and participate in the discussion via a chat box. For September 30, 11:45 a.m. Interactive Problem-Solving Session, attendees will go into breakout rooms.


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Register Online 

  • Members: $395
  • Non-Members: $595

Additional discounts may apply to this meeting. These discounts may include:

For multiple registrants: A discount will apply to the standard member/non-member rate for organizations that register two or more participants for the same meeting. The first registrant will pay full price, the second participant will receive a 10% discount and each additional registrant will receive a 15% discount. To register multiple participants, you may either register online or download the print and fax registration form.

Member discounts: Discounts for members are applied to all Public Affairs Council meetings.

Non-members: Join the Council today, and save by registering at the member rate and using the $200 new-member coupon you will receive. Contact our membership team for information about joining the Council.

Questions? Contact us at 202.787.5950.


Nick Desarno
Director of Digital and Policy Communications
202.787.5971 | email