Public Affairs Institute

28 Sep, 2017

Public Affairs Institute,The premier educational and career-building program,for public affairs professionals


January 7-10, 2019
Surf and Sand Resort
Laguna Beach, Calif.

For almost 40 years, the Public Affairs Institute has brought together world-class faculty and senior-level public affairs professionals to discuss emerging political, economic, social and technological issues in a rigorous, innovative curriculum.

Download the 2019 Brochure

Step outside the day-to-day challenges of your job. Focus on the broader issues that shape the business and political environments in which your organization operates.

The Public Affairs Institute combines a rigorous curriculum with small, carefully selected classes to provide participants with unmatched opportunities to learn directly from premier faculty. Speakers are issue experts from universities, think tanks and top levels of government.

The Institute’s three-year course of study ensures that graduates gain an in-depth understanding of the pivotal issues in public affairs today. You will be immersed in an exceptional educational and networking environment renowned for its innovation and excellence.

Please join us for the 2019 Public Affairs Institute, the professional learning experience of a lifetime.

Featured Topic & Speakers

The Public Affairs Institute prides itself on attracting the leading thinkers and practitioners in business, academia and government. Since its inception, participants have learned from renowned and respected ambassadors, cabinet members, members of Congress, business executives, university professors, authors, journalists, think tank specialists, and opinion leaders. This is the premier public affairs faculty in America.

“Crises of the Modern World”


Jared Diamond
Author: Guns Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (1998)
Professor of geography and physiology, UCLA

“How Generational Shifts Will Transform American Politics”


Kristen Soltis Anderson
Author: The Selfie Vote,
Where Millennials Are
Leading America

“Health Care in a Changing Business Environment “


Ian Morrison
Health care futurist, author and past president of the Institute for the Future

“Transatlantic Relations and Global Business”


Frances Burwell
Distinguished fellow, Future Europe Initiative, The Atlantic Council

“The Psychology of Politics and Marketing”


Christopher Graves
Founder of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science

Who Should Attend?

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We encourage the following individuals to apply for the Institute:

  • Senior-level public affairs professionals from leading corporations, associations or consultancies
  • Individuals with a minimum of seven, preferably ten or more, years of public affairs experience
  • Public affairs practitioners looking to take their careers to the next level
  • Experienced professionals interested in examining the leading public policy issues of the day in an in-depth manner

Program Commitments

  • Attend one week-long session every year for three consecutive years.
    Once enrolled, participants become part of a class of students that remains intact during the three-year experience. Each class meets with faculty members separately, takes meals together, and also participates in free-time activities together. This enables participants to build strong relationships with their classmates and broaden their professional networks.
  • Complete the faculty-assigned readings that will be mailed in the weeks prior to the Institute.
    Past participants of the Institute agree that reading the materials before the program allows them to participate more fully in the small class discussions.

If you would like to receive more information about the Institute, please contact Brenda Plantikow.

Apply for the 2019 First-Year Class

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2019 Application (Deadline: Friday, November 30, 2018)
Please send your completed application to Brenda Plantikow at Once your application has been accepted, we will send you a confirmation with invoice for tuition. Please be aware that in past years the first-year class has filled to capacity before the deadline, so it is recommended that you apply early. Individuals applying for a seat in the first-year class will be notified within one week.

Second- and Third-Year Returning Participants: You will be automatically registered this summer.

Member Tuition: $4,350
Non-Member Tuition: $5,800
Institute Fellows: $2,175

Note: Tuition does not include the cost of lodging, meals, transportation or personal expenses.

Key Dates
November 2: Deadline to cancel with full refund. Please note, this differs from the Council’s standard cancellation schedule.
November 30: Deadline for hotel reservations at the Surf and Sand Resort. Deadline for tuition payment in full. Final deadline for conference cancellation or deferment. Registrants cancelling after this date will forfeit the full registration fee.

Hotel and Travel

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Surf and Sand Resort
1555 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, Calif.

Reservations (Deadline: November 30, 2018)
The Public Affairs Council reserved a block of hotel rooms at the Surf and Sand Resort. The discounted rate per night is $299. In a typical year, our room block sells out prior to the reservation deadline. Therefore, it is advisable to secure your room as soon as possible. Please call 800.837.9230.

At the time of reservation, a deposit equal to one night’s room and tax is required. Cancellations must be received 7 days prior to arrival. After 7 days prior to arrival, the deposit is non-refundable. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. Check-out time is 12:00 noon.

Once the room block is full, the Public Affairs Council will manage a waitlist. Please contact Brenda Plantikow at to place your name on the waitlist. Be sure to include your preferred check-in and check-out dates.

Alternative Accommodations
There are several hotels within walking distance to the Surf and Sand Resort.

Laguna Brisas
1600 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, Calif.

Capri Laguna On the Beach
1441 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, Calif.

Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa
2510 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, Calif.

Transportation to the Hotel
The Surf & Sand Resort is located at the southern end of Laguna Beach, just 20 minutes from Orange County Airport, 55 minutes away from Los Angeles International and Long Beach Airports and 70 minutes from San Diego Airport.

From John Wayne Airport (Orange County) 
Driving time: 20 minutes

From Los Angeles International Airport
Driving time: 55 minutes (plus, during peak traffic times)

From the Long Beach Airport
Driving time: 45 minutes (plus, during peak traffic times)

From San Diego International Airport
Driving time: 70 minutes


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Please contact Mary Bathon if you would like to speak to a graduate of the program.

The Public Affairs Institute is…

“A phenomenal program, where special intellect, intriguing programs, and enthusiastic individuals intersect.”

Estherine Davis
Senior Vice President, Government Relations
ElectriCities of North Carolina Inc.

A fantastic opportunity to learn about issues facing our nation and the world. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in public affairs.”

Amy Odom
Director, Public Affairs
WellPoint Health Networks Inc.

By far the best public affairs developmental program I have ever attended.”

R. Matt Davis
Director, Public Affairs
The Dow Chemical Co.

Exciting, thought-provoking, challenging, rewarding. The Institute provides an opportunity to think about public affairs in new ways in a setting with top professionals and world-class instructors.”

Ray Long
Vice President, Government Affairs
NRG Energy Inc.

“Thought provoking, intelectually stimulating experience with opportunities to network with other public affairs leaders.”

Deanna Rice
Manager, Prevention Partnerships & Programs
Coors Brewing Co.

Heightens our awareness and inspires valuable dialog among government affairs professionals.”

Karyn Faggello
Public Affairs Assistant Manager
State Farm Insurance Co.

A diverse and engaged group of participants combined with topical and talented faculty to create a compelling program.”

Barry Doggett
Senior Vice President, Public & Community Affairs
Eaton Corporation

Great course. Superb speakers.

Timothy Peterson
Director, Congressional Relations
Rockwell Collins

“You cannot become excellent in public affairs unless you understand the broader public context; you cannot understand camaraderie until you attend the Public Affairs Institute.”

Charles Burhan
Assistant Vice President & Regional Public Affairs Manager
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

“Institute is the only professional development forum where engaging in deep thought and high level conversation with faculty, our colleagues and PAC staff truly opens the mind to paradigm shifts in our individual leadership styles and abilities.”

Erin Vaughan
Senior Director, National Legislative Strategy, State Government Affairs
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

Past Participants

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Who sends their staff to the Institute?
Since 1981, hundreds of public affairs professionals from the following companies, associations and consulting firms have graduated from the Public Affairs Institute.

1-800 Contacts
ABB Inc.
Agilent Technologies
Alcoa, Inc.
Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
American Council of Life Insurers
American Express
American Beverage Association
American Electric Power (AEP)
American Forest and Paper Association
American Insurance Association
American Medical Association
American Petroleum Institute
American Standard
Amoco Corporation
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Arch Chemicals, Inc.
Aristotle, Inc.
ASARCO Incorporated
Ashland Inc.
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Danish Physiotherapists
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
Bank of America
Bank One Corp.
Baxter Healthcare Corp.
Becton Dickinson and Company
Behan Communications, Inc.
Berlex Laboratories
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
The Boeing Company
Bose Public Affairs Group, LLC
BP America
Bravo Group, Inc.
Brewers Association of Canada
Briggs and Stratton Corporation
Brown-Forman Corporation
Burlington Resources
Burroughs Wellcome Co.
The Campbell Company
The Canadian Institute of
Chartered Accountants
Catholic Health Initiatives
The Clorox Company
Capital Blue Cross
Cargill, Inc.
Central Freight Lines Inc.
Centerpoint Energy, Inc.
Cephalon, Inc.
ChevronTexaco Corporation
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
CIGNA Corporation
Citigroup, Inc.
CMS Panhandle Pipe Line Co.
Columbia Gas of PA/MD/VA
Comcast Corporation
The Compressed Gas Association
Constellation Energy Group
Coors Brewing Company
Corning Incorporated
CT Corporation
Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CVR Energy, Inc.
CVS Caremark
Diageo North America
The Dow Chemical Company
Dow Corning Corporation
Duke Energy Corporation
DuPont & Company
Duquesne Light Company
Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Kodak Company
Eaton Corporation
Edelman Canada
Edison Electric Institute
ElectriCities of North Carolina
Entergy Corporation
Equiva Services LLC
Exelon Corporation
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh
Federation of American Hospitals
FMC Corporation
Food Lion LLC
Fort James Corporation
Gap, Inc.
Genentech Inc.
General Electric Company
General Mills, Inc.
Genworth Financial
GPU Energy
Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Harsco Corporation
Heineken U.S.A., Inc.
Hershey Foods Corporation
Hewlett-Packard Company
Hill and Knowlton, Inc.
Hoechst Celanese Corporation
The Home Depot
Honeywell International
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
HSBC – North America
Hughes Electronics
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Impact Texas
InterContinental Hotels Group
International Council of Shopping Centers
International Paper
ITC Holdings Corp
JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
John Deere
John Hancock Financial Services
Johns Manville Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
K N Energy
Kraft Foods, Inc.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lechmere Incorporated
Lennox International, Inc.
Liberty Mutual Group
Limited Brands
Lincoln National Corporation
Linkedge Technologies, Inc.
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Mary Kay Inc.
Mayo Clinic
MBNA America
McCormick Company
McDonald’s Corporation
McLane Company Inc.
MDU Resources Group
Mead Westvaco Corporation
Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin, Inc.
Moore & Van Allen, PLLC
Multistate Associates Inc.
Mutual of Omaha
Mylan Laboratories Inc.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
National Association of Manufacturers
National Automobile Dealers Association
National Council of Chain Restaurants
Nationwide Insurance Companies
Nestle Waters North America Inc.
New York Power Authority
New York State Funeral Directors Association
NOL Group
Northeast Utilities
Northrop Corporation
Northwestern Mutual
NRG Energy, Inc.
Nuclear Energy Institute
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Paschall Strategic Communications
PCS Phosphate Company, Inc
PECO Energy Company
Pfizer Inc.
PG&E Corporation
Philips Electronics North American Corp.
The Pillsbury Company
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
The Pires Group, Inc.
Potlatch Corporation
PPL Corporation
Premera Blue Cross
Princeton Public Affairs Group
Principal Financial Group
The Procter & Gamble Company
Progress Energy
Prudential Financial
The Prudential Insurance Co.
Public Affairs Management LLC
Public Affairs Resources, Incorporated
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Puget Sound Energy
Quantum Corporation
Raytheon Company
Reed Elsevier Inc.
Reliant Energy Minnegasco
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Rexam Beverage Can Company
Rockwell Collins
Rohm and Haas Company
Salt River Project
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc.
Sempra Energy
Shell Oil
Siemens Corporation
The Soap and Detergent Association
The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.
Solem & Associates
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
State and Federal Communications, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Sun Microsystems
Sunoco, Inc.
Teck Cominco American
TE Connectivity
Tennessee Valley Authority
ThedaCare Health System
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
The Trammell Group
Travelers Propety Casualty Corp.
TRW Inc.
Tyco International
Underwriter Laboratories Inc.
United Parcel Service
Unisys Corporation
Unocal Corporation
Unum Corporation
VOX Global
Vulcan Inc.
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Walgreens Company
Washington Roundtable
Waste Management International
WellPoint, Inc.
Western Union
Weyerhaeuser Company
Whirlpool Corporation
Wisconsin Electric Power
Yum! Brands, Inc.
BP 3

Brenda Plantikow
Manager, Board Relations
202.787.5965 | email