NEW YORK— Barbara “Barie” Carmichael, who held senior corporate communications positions at Dow Corning and Visa USA, has joined The Brunswick Group as a partner based in its Washington D.C. office. Carmichael will work with the firm and its clients on issues including corporate crises and litigation, restructuring, regulatory issues and mergers and acquisitions.
She will also advise clients on organizing their overall communications departments and how significant corporate events impact brands and brand positioning.
“Barie’s experience and skills are simply phenomenal,” says David Shapiro, partner in Brunswick’s Washington office. “She practically wrote the book on how a company should deal with a high-profile litigation crisis. Our growing base of clients will benefit enormously from the fact that she has been there and helped companies weather the storm.”
Describing Brunswick as “a firm on the rise,” Carmichael says its “business model of retaining an elite team of communications strategists uniquely positions it to provide superior counsel to companies needing expert handling of the most sensitive corporate issues. I look forward to becoming a part of this outstanding team.”
Recent additions to that team include former White House senior advisor Jonathan Prince; former PepsiCo and RJR general counsel, Rob Sharpe; and former Wall Street Journal business editor Steve Lipin.
From 2001 to 2003, Carmichael was executive vice president at Visa USA, where she sat on the executive management committee and reported to the CEO, with responsibility for overseeing the company’s communications, leading a team of 18. She supervised the integration of public relations with Visa’s business and brand strategy, while facing a number of serious management and litigation challenges.
From 1990 through 2001, she worked at Dow Corning, serving most recently as the company’s corporate vice president and chief communications officer. While reporting to the CEO, Ms. Carmichael led a global communications and government affairs team of more than 50 professionals and also served as chief communications strategist to the Dow Corning board of directors as the company simultaneously navigated extensive global restructuring, litigation and strategic repositioning of the company. She also led the company’s communications on the silicone breast implant controversy.
Shapiro praised Carmichael’s work on that issue as “one of the most remarkable turn-around strategies in the history of corporate crisis and litigation. From supportive editorials in virtually every national and large regional newspaper to favorable features on 60 Minutes, Frontline, and the BBC, she helped turn the tide of public opinion on a highly complex and emotional issue.”