Joe Lockhart, EVP, communications, National Football League: Power List 2016

2016 rank: 21

When the iconic American institution and worldwide sports sensation known as the National Football League went looking for a communications leader recently, it could literally have had its pick of the planet. It did not surprise me one bit that it landed on Joe Lockhart.

One would be hard pressed to find a more battle-tested and strategically savvy pro than Joe. You name it, he has handled it. Presidential campaigns, check. Corporate communications, check. Agency head, check. White House podium, check. The depth and intensity of his experiences in our business might be unmatched.

Yet, commissioner Roger Goodell and league executives didn’t draft Joe on his résumé alone. As a consultant to the NFL through the Glover Park Group, the firm he founded, Joe had already been on the field for some of the league’s big challenges in the past few years. They saw what I saw when we were colleagues in the Clinton White House: with Joe Lockhart in the room, problems get solved and progress gets made.

And while there is no one cooler in a crisis, Joe’s greatest value is his ability to stay ahead of the game. As hard as it is to believe the NFL will soon turn 100 years old, it is great to know Joe will be helping guide the game the world loves into its next century.

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