Don Baer: Power List 2015

CEO and worldwide chair, Burson-Marsteller

2015 rank: 30
2014 rank: 33

By Joe Lockhart, founding partner and MD, Glover Park Group

When I first met Don, neither of us would have predicted he’d one day run a global PR powerhouse.

He jokes he can’t hold down a profession, but those many roles stem from his passion for the big changes in media and communications.

I saw it when, as chief speechwriter and White House communications director, he was my colleague working for President Bill Clinton. That focus drove him as a First Amendment lawyer and political journalist and, later, at global media company Discovery Communications.

At Burson-Marsteller, Don is bringing new energy, ideas, and creativity to a legendary firm facing dynamic challenges at the intersection of media, content, and technology.

He calls it "being more" and since he became CEO, the firm has embraced more research and data analytics, but also creativity in content production and cutting-edge distribution.

The new chair of PBS’s board is gaining more insight about media’s changing landscape and driving growth for Burson, from Bank of America to recent wins with FedEx and Oracle. In a landscape that increasingly values communications sophistication, it’s no surprise Don is the perfect leader for one of the PR industry’s iconic brands.

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