Richard Edelman

President and Chief Executive Officer, Edelman

Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, with 67 offices and 5,000 employees worldwide. Edelman was named president and CEO in September 1996.

Edelman has extensive experience in marketing and reputation management, having led assignments with major corporations, NGOs, and family businesses in over 25 industries around the world. He has counseled countries in every region of the world on economic development programs.

As the creator of the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, Edelman has become one of the foremost authorities on trust in business, government, media, and NGOs. He has spoken on this topic at several conferences, including the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where he regularly leads discussions among global heads of business, government, and media conglomerates. The firm’s research is widely cited in media publications and academic journals from around the globe. The 2012 Barometer was covered by the Financial Times, New York Times, Economist, and Forbes, among many others.

He serves on the boards of directors of the Ad Council, Atlantic Council, and Children’s Aid Society. He is a member of the World Economic Forum, Arthur Page Society, and PR Seminar. Under his leadership, the agency has garnered many of the industry’s top accolades. Edelman was named an “Agency to Watch” by Advertising Age in 2014 and was on their “Agency A-List” in 2012 for the second consecutive year. Edelman has been awarded seven Cannes Lions, including the Grand Prix for PR in 2014. Adweek named the firm 2011 “PR Agency of the Year.” Edelman earned comparable awards from The Holmes Report (2013 and 2011 “Global Agency of the Year”), and in 2012 it was named the publication’s “Digital Agency of the Year.” In 2011, PRWeek named the firm both its “Large PR Agency of the Year” and its “Large UK Consultancy of the Year.” In 2010, The Holmes Report named it “Agency of the Decade,” and in 2009, Edelman was Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade.

Edelman himself has also earned many industry honors. He is regarded as an industry thought leader and posts weekly to his blog, 6 A.M., which launched in September 2004 and receives more than 2,000 visitors a day. Edelman topped PRWeek's list of most powerful executives in 2013 and was recognized as the third-highest rated CEO by Glassdoor in 2014. In 2011, he was ranked #78 on Ethisphere Institute’s “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.” In 2010, Forbes named him one of “America’s Favorite Bosses” (#8). Advertising Age recognized Edelman as “Agency Executive of the Year” in 2008.

Edelman earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1978 and a BA from Harvard College in 1976. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1972.