Elizabeth Sanzone: 40 Under 40 2014

VP, LaunchSquad, San Francisco office
Age: 36

Elizabeth Sanzone is an "unsung PR rock star," according to colleagues. She’s been at the frontline of some of the biggest PR issues of our time and influenced public policy at the highest levels.

As press secretary for US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, she helped shape his response to the tragic events of 9/11, the war in Iraq, and countless other major policy and legislative issues.

Sanzone went on to serve as the US Embassy spokesperson and media affairs attaché in Afghanistan, where she helped garner positive coverage of the US’ efforts to rehabilitate the country. This included launching an initiative where journalists took part in weekly trips with the US Ambassador to visit US and international development projects that focused on building new roads, new schools, and training programs.

As a senior associate at APCO Worldwide, Sanzone provided strategic counsel to Fortune 500 companies such as Merck and ExxonMobil, as well as nonprofits.

She was the project lead for the multi-million-dollar pharmaceutical industry program, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Heading up a five-strong team, Sanzone developed the strategy behind the hugely successful campaign, which led to thousands of articles being written about the program and positive engagement with elected officials.

In her current role at LaunchSquad, she has played a key role in the growth of some of the company’s leading clients, including D-Wave, the first and only quantum computing company, and iconic San Francisco museum the Exploratorium. When the Exploratorium moved from its former location to a new home, Sanzone and her team created a year-long campaign that led to a dramatic surge in media coverage.

"Beth is fearless in her bold thinking and approach and is passionate about helping her clients gain momentum and build brand awareness," explains LaunchSquad cofounder Jason Throckmorton. "She is a leader among leaders in the communications world and has garnered the trust of senior government officials, CEOs, C-suite executives, founders of companies, and her colleagues and peers."


• Sanzone received the 2013 Will and Susan Norton Award for International Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

• She is a member of the Cather Circle, an organization that promotes the education of women

• Sanzone is also a Young Atlanticist, serving on the Atlantic Council’s NATO working group for emerging professionals in the policy and business world

• She is a proud new mom and wife, juggling home life and work, and is a certified Pilates instructor

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