40 Under 40 2018 | Katie Sprehe

Whether she’s sitting in a focus group facility in Chicago or overseeing survey interviews in far off places such as Mongolia, Katie Sprehe lives and breathes APCO Worldwide’s philosophy of data-drive solutions. Sprehe blends traditional opinion and digital research to derive communication strategies that bring clarity to a client’s challenges.

Her former supervisor claims, "If she’s in charge of something, it’s going to be done right." Sprehe steered the research to help the broader industry understand how to effectively engage on political, social, and environmental issues that matter to stakeholders. 

She developed thought leadership to help understand how companies can successfully take a stand on issues that matter and devised the principles any corporation can utilize to guide its corporate advocacy efforts. Her approach on corporate advocacy has already helped C-suites, corporate communicators, and multimillion-dollar clients change the way they operate in the face of new disruptive forces such as social risk.

Strengthening the talent of her team of researchers is a top priority to Sprehe. She works closely with the junior and mid-level members of her team to develop their technical capabilities and skills as communication professionals.

As a mom to a busy 5-year old, Sprehe can be found running after her son and believes there is nothing better than spending time with her family. She also loves to travel and has been fortunate to see many far-off places. From sitting in a village in Northern Nigeria to being offered a piece of candy from a Mongolian woman, it’s the people she meets that make the adventure. 

- Sprehe has mastered the balance of science and art research to help her clients tell a more compelling corporate story and has successfully done so for more than her decade in over 60 countries.

- She serves on the board of directors for a nonprofit theater company that works to create access to the arts for young children under the age of 6, regardless of the family’s financial status.

- While working at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, she managed international public opinion surveys sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development and U.K.’s Department for International Development in countries such as Ukraine and Nigeria.

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