Mark Harris

Mark_HarrisUpon retiring, Mark Harris served as the Vice President of Communications for IBM Global Business Services, the $17 billion unit formed in 2002 with the acquisition of PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting.

In this role, Mark led the competitive positioning of IBM as a business advisor and provider of transformational services with media, analysts and other influencers; executive support for the leadership of IBM’s business consulting and applications services business; and communications to a workforce of more than 100,000 across more than 90 countries.

Prior to assignment, Mark was a senior communications advisor to former IBM Chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner, and his chief speechwriter from 1996 through his retirement in 2002 — a prime vantage point from which to observe, understand and comment on the transformation of IBM.

Before he joined IBM’s corporate communications staff, Mark held a number of communications leadership positions in IBM’s U.S. marketing and sales organization.

Mark led the development of IBM’s first integrated position on Corporate Social Responsibility, and played leadership roles in crafting IBM’s positions on globally integrated services delivery; and “new intelligence” inside the company’s Smarter Planet strategy. His team led the global launch of IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization consulting practice in 2009, the first new service line created in the industry since the mid-1990s.

Prior to joining IBM, Mark worked for United Press International as a reporter in Birmingham, Ala., and as the bureau chief in Columbia, S.C., covering politics, the courts, crime, human interest, civil rights, the Klan, natural disasters, college and professional sports, and on one memorable evening in 1983, an electric chair execution at Holman Prison in Atmore, Ala.

He became a member of the Plank Center’s Board of Advisors in 2010. Mark holds BA and MA degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama.

Click here for Mark’s video series on leadership in public relations.

Our Mission

The Plank Center’s mission is to help develop and recognize outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society. The Center works to achieve its mission by:

Advancing knowledge of leadership values and skills in the profession;

Supporting research, teaching, service, and professional educational efforts that help develop diverse, responsible and trustworthy leaders;

Bridging the interests and vision of the practice and education; and

Collaborating with other groups and associations to nurture the ethical and effective practice of public relations.