Public Affairs Leadership Summit

15 Apr, 2021

July 20 - 22, 2021
1:30 − 3:30 p.m. ET

Public expectations of business, more complex issues, globalization and heightened economic pressure all affect how you manage your public affairs function, pivot management strategies and protect your reputation. Public affairs professionals must also continue to adapt their approaches to leadership, government relations, and diversity and inclusion amid a virtual business world and a global pandemic. Join us at the Public Affairs Leadership Summit to hear from leading experts on how they are transforming public affairs management during unprecedented times.

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

Thank You to Our Sponsors


Tuesday, July 20

1:30 p.m.              Public Affairs During Turbulent Times

Shifts are occurring in corporate America and across the globe around political, social, environmental and workforce engagement issues. These changes bring new reputational challenges for corporations and associations, while policymakers tackle tough issues against the backdrop of an increasingly vocal electorate. As a result, public affairs has never been more important. It’s vital that today’s leaders are prepared to navigate this new reality and define the path forward.

In this opening session, we’ll talk about how to meet the evolving expectations on the business community:

  • Why public affairs matters – and defining its role going forward
  • Overview of structure and traits of leading public affairs departments
  • Macro public affairs challenges: High expectations for engagement in social issues, public affairs in times of polarization and more

Courtney Geduldig
Chief Public & Government Affairs Officer
S&P Global Inc.


Matthew Haller
President & CEO
International Franchise Association

2:30 p.m.         Building and Managing an Integrated Public Affairs Function

Dive into a discussion led by two senior executives on how they’ve built and managed an integrated public affairs function that is proactive, strategic and relevant to the business. We’ll discuss:

  • Building a function that integrates and supports business objectives
  • Evaluating your department’s structure and objectives
  • Strategies for improved collaboration among communications, government relations and corporate responsibility
  • Skill sets needed for a high-performing team

Stephanie Childs
Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations
Diageo North America

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Jim Jeffries 
Senior Vice President, Head of Public Affairs
Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)

3:30 p.m.         Adjourn

Wednesday, July 21

1:30 p.m.      Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Public Affairs

The public affairs profession can do more to address issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion and create a workforce that better represents the employees, members and community it serves. Difficult conversations need to continue to drive real change. Join us for a discussion on how practitioners can tackle these issues while building more effective and diverse teams and acting as agents of change.


Julian Ha
Heidrick and Struggles International, Inc.


Erica Miles
Senior Consultant, SVP, Diverse Segments Representation and Inclusion
Wells Fargo & Company


Dana Thompson
Co-Founder & Partner
Fulcrum Public Affairs

Moderated by:

Erica Harris

Erica Harris
Public Affairs Associate
Public Affairs Council

2:30 p.m.       Corporate Engagement: Integrating Values, Social Activism and Public Affairs

Companies and associations are no longer being assessed purely on their bottom line or mission. Organizations are now expected to respond to social issues and play a role in activism, civic empowerment and other ethics indicators. As a result, many organizations are shifting their perspectives and working to navigate these new expectations. This session will explore the scrutiny organizations have faced over the last year, their response and what changes in corporate culture will look like moving forward. Strategies for how best to prepare for and lead during these increasingly public corporate social inflection points will also be covered.


Cameron Baker
Manager, Federal Government Affairs & BSC PAC
Boston Scientific Corporation

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Linda Rutherford
Executive Vice President, People & Communications
Southwest Airlines Company

3:30 p.m.         Adjourn

Thursday, July 22

1:30 p.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 methods 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

Douglas G. Pinkham
Public Affairs Council

2:30 p.m.       Public Affairs Leadership

The pandemic has forced leaders to adapt their management styles to keep their teams on track and thriving in a digital environment. During our closing session, we’ll cover what traits make public affairs leaders great, how to elevate your own leadership profile and personal brand, and ways to motivate staff during uncertain times.


Heather Kennedy
Vice President, Government Relations
The Home Depot

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Patrice Webb
Indwelling Consulting LLC

3:30 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.


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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.


Kristin Brackemyre
Director of PAC and Government Relations
202-787-5969 | email