Saturday, May 18, 2024

Bob Pickard

: Senior Fellow

Expert Overview

For more than 30 years working in public affairs and public relations, Bob Pickard has built and led communications organizations in the Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the United States.

Bob is a prominent leader in the global communications community. PR Week of London named him one of the world's leading corporate communicators, and he was a founding member of the Global Ethics Council of the PRCA, the largest international public relations professional organization.

Bob is Principal of Leadership Communication Inc., a public relations consultancy for names in the news. In this capacity, he provides counsel to executives and public figures on image, issues, relationships and reputation. He offers clients trusted advisory services in complex issues management, geopolitical public relations, competitive comms in a disrupted disinformation environment, and the application of AI technologies to strategic PR practice.

Until 2023, Bob served as Director General of Communications at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a multilateral investment bank with 109 member countries. He publicly resigned from that position, protesting the undue influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the everyday operations of the bank. As a result, the Government of Canada suspended its membership in AIIB, pending an extended review of its governance and management.

Bob is an Executive Fellow at the Center for the Future of Organization, an independent think tank at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in California. Through 2022, he served on the Board of the Glenn Gould Foundation.

Bob was previously Asia Pacific Chairman of Huntsworth plc at Singapore, in charge of the regional business for global communications consultancies Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Grayling, and Huntsworth Health. He reported to Lord Chadlington.

Winner of the ‘PR Agency Head of The Year’ at the Asia Pacific PR awards in 2012, Bob served Burson-Marsteller as its Asia Pacific CEO where, for three years until 2013, he led and expanded a 38-office network of owned and affiliate operations across 16 regional markets with more than 750 employees. From 2002 until fiscal year 2009, as Edelman’s Managing Director for Korea and later as North Asia President, Bob grew the firm’s business in the region ten times larger. This included leading the Seoul operation to record growth as Edelman’s largest market in Asia Pacific as well as market entry into Japan, establishing the firm’s Tokyo office in a 51-49 partnership with the Edelman family.

Earlier, Bob was Executive Vice President of Environics Communications, a leading Canadian PR firm that he co-founded in 1994. In 1996, he opened the firm’s New York-area office and in so doing, established the first Canadian-owned PR agency in the US. Before then, he was a Vice President at Hill & Knowlton Canada, where he founded the firm’s technology practice and captained international client projects.

A member of the Canadian delegation to the UN Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 1992, Bob has a long record of involvement in sustainability issues and has been a speaker at APEC, Economist Intelligence Unit, and World Economic Forum conferences.

Prior to working in the PR industry, served as a political aide to Canadian federal Cabinet ministers, including the country’s 16th Prime Minister.

A graduate of Canada’s Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, Bob frequently delivers campus lectures. He also regularly comments in the media, e.g. BBC World News, Bloomberg, Business Insider, CBC, Channel News Asia, China Central Television News, Chosun Ilbo, CNBC, CTV, Reuters, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Handelsblatt, Nikkei, The Wall Street Journal, etc.

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