WASHINGTON, D.C.—Pat Ford has been named chair of the corporate practice at Burson-Marsteller, succeeding Judi Mackey who is focusing on client issues—particularly the firm’s Washington Mutual account—and assisting in the transition while exploring other career opportunities. Mackey has been chair of the practice since 2001.
Ford has served as a senior client counselor at in the public affairs practice at Burson-Marsteller since 1989 and specializes in issues management, crisis communications, ally development, corporate and CEO positioning, and media relations. He helped form the firm’s labor communications practice and has assisted numerous clients in dealing with corporate campaigns, collective bargaining communications, and related issues.
According to BM U.S. chief executive Chet Burchett, “Although he has been in the public affairs practice since the agency moved to a client/practice structure, Pat is widely recognized as an elite corporate practitioner and senior client counselor. He is a crisis and issues management expert, has built our labor relations group and leads the single largest multi-client portfolio in our region.”
Before joining BM, Ford was vice president for public affairs at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, one of the nation’s leading public policy think tanks. Previously, he was a senior account manager at Wagner & Baroody, a public affairs consulting firm. He also managed the media operations center at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.
Burchett paid tribute to Mackey’s leadership of the practice: “We now have well defined and focused leadership for growing corporate responsibility and crisis/litigation, we have deeper talent and proprietary research capabilities for organizational change communications and we have maintained every major client relationship through 2003.”