Pat Ford

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Patrick Ford is a senior advisor for Burson-Marsteller and serves as a Professional-in-Residence at the University of Florida for the 2017-18 academic year. In 2012, Pat became Burson-Marsteller’s vice chairman and chief client officer, following six years of driving extraordinary growth in North America as Burson’s regional president and CEO. He also served as chair of the firm’s Asia-Pacific region for nearly three years (2012-2015).

Mr. Ford specializes in corporate reputation management, senior executive communications, media strategy, and issues and crisis management. His clients over 26 years at Burson-Marsteller have ranged from world-class companies in industries as diverse as automotive, energy, express delivery services, financial services, food and beverage, management consulting, technology, and telecommunications, and also government clients in the U.S. and Asia.

Before joining Burson-Marsteller, he served as vice president for external affairs at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, one of America’s leading policy think tanks, in Washington, DC, following a brief career as a journalist.

Mr. Ford serves on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Public Relations, an international organization that supports PR research and education, and the Board of Directors of The LAGRANT Foundation, whose mission is to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. He also is a member of the Advisory Board of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University. In 2014, he received the prestigious Milestones in Mentoring Legacy Award from the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama.


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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.