WASHINGTON: Michelle Giuda, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs at the State Department, has returned to Weber Shandwick as EVP of geopolitical strategy and risk in the agency’s global public affairs practice.
Giuda is set to start in the newly created role on March 23, reporting to Pam Jenkins, president of global public affairs. Giuda will oversee a global team and help clients prepare for and address the impact of geopolitical issues on their business and reputation.
“We have always had people around the world in our public affairs group working in this kind of area,” said Weber president and CEO Gail Heimann. “She will be coalescing that talent to form a team.”
Weber started drawing up the position months ago, before the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S. in earnest, Heimann said.
“Our clients were addressing all kinds of issues around the intersection of communications, marketing and geopolitics of what was going on in the world,” she explained. “We needed to get ahead of that and bring in someone with the kind of expertise that [Giuda] has. Now [there are] scary, profound needs and issues our clients are facing as a result of [coronavirus], so we are glad to have her rejoining the firm.”
It will be Giuda’s second stint at Weber. Until February 2018, she was the firm’s SVP of global corporate communications. Giuda was assistant secretary of state at the State Department from February 2018 until March 2020. She also took on the responsibilities of the under secretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs in 2019.
Giuda led a restructuring at the State Department to create the Bureau of Global Public Affairs and to modernize its communications capabilities, including investments in data analytics and research, real-time video and mobile platforms and launching a global website. She also advised the secretary of State and ambassadors on communications strategy and emerging issues.
Earlier in her career, Giuda was a member of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s communications team, including as national deputy press secretary during his 2012 presidential campaign.