Mike Fernandez has had a distinguished career as a chief communications officer for five of America’s largest corporations, most recently with Cargill Inc., the world’s largest privately-held company and one of the largest purveyors of food and food ingredients. He has worked across consumer products to business-to-business firms and several industry sectors including financial, food, health care, and technology. In addition to public relations, he has led government relations, brand and marketing, investor relations, and corporate social responsibility. Fernandez is well known for his work in managing crises, helping organizations pursue greater transparency, and developing purpose-driven organizations that engage stakeholders and critics.He recently joined Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s premier full service public relations firms, as the Chair of its Global Corporate & Financial Practice.
He is a regular on the Holmes Report’s Influence 100 list of the top PR professionals in the world. He serves on the boards of the Institute for Public Relations and the Arthur W. Page Society, and has received numerous honors, including the Alexander Hamilton Medal from the Institute for Public Relations (for his contributions to the industry), and the Paladin Award from the PRSA Foundation (for his contributions to diversity). Last year he became the first recipient of the Hispanic Public Relations Association’s Pioneer Award and was inducted into PR Week’s PR Hall of Fame.
His early career was in government and politics. He is the youngest ever and only the second Latino to serve as press secretary to a United States Senator. He worked for a political action committee and the House Democratic Study Group.
He has taught reputation management at New York University and lectured at several communications and business programs – including at his alma mater – on topics of crisis management, leadership, brand, marketing and communications.
He serves on several boards including the Arthur W. Page Society, the Institute for Public Relations, Minneapolis Institute of Art, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), TechnoServe, the US Global Leadership Council and the advisory councils of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Latino Donor Collaborative.
Follow him on Twitter @Cogit8
M.S., Georgetown University
B.A., Georgetown University