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Lisa Osborne Ross Makes History As First Black Woman CEO Of Global PR Firm

Lisa Osborne Ross Makes History As First Black Woman CEO Of Global PR Firm

Congratulations are in order!

Lisa Osborne Ross is making history as the first Black female CEO of a global PR firm, the Daily Journal reports.

Edelman, a leading public relations firm worldwide, just named Ross the first Black woman to lead the company. Ross previously served as the U.S. chief operating officer at the company. She joined the company first as president of the Washington, D.C. office after building a name for herself at APCO Worldwide, Ogilvy Public Relations, and in several capacities within the Clinton administration. 

During the pandemic, Ross has led Edelman’s COVID task force and been instrumental in developing its racial justice task force in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police. Since its inception, the racial justice task force has consulted with more than 400 clients to address diversity and systemic racism issues. 

The PR firm was ranked No.4 on Ad Age’s Agency 2019 A-List, boasting $540 million in revenue in the nation with 13 offices and more than 2,300 employees across the country. In her new role as CEO, Ross will report to global president and chief operating officer Matthew Harrington. Harrington worked diligently alongside current U.S. president and CEO Russell Dubnerand CEO Richard Edelman to increase new diversity hires, aiming to reach a goal of 30% in the U.S. workforce and 20% in leadership by next year, which they are well on their way to. 

Edelman reports that Ross is a staunch advocate for women, serving as co-founder of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in funds for grassroots organizations serving women and girls. She also serves on several school boards and commissions and received the 2020 PRWeek Hall of Femme award. She was named one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Woman in Corporate America in 2019.

Ross will oversee operations leading Edelman forward in her new role, which starts May 3rd.

Congratulations Lisa!

Photo Courtesy of Edelman