Market Overview

Burson-Marsteller Names Nate Tibbits as Chair, U.S. Public Affairs Practice and Johanna Schneider as Managing Director and Washington, DC Market Leader


Burson-Marsteller, a leading public relations and communications firm, announced today that it has named former U.S. National Security Council Executive Secretary Nate Tibbits as the Chair of its U.S. Public Affairs Practice. The firm also announced the appointments of Johanna Schneider, most recently Executive Director of External Relations at Business Roundtable, as Managing Director and Market Leader for its Washington, DC office and former American Gas Association Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Laura Sheehan as Managing Director and the leader of its Washington, DC-based Public Affairs Practice.

Burson-Marsteller Names Nate Tibbits as Chair, U.S. Public Affairs Practice (Photo: Business Wire)

Burson-Marsteller Names Nate Tibbits as Chair, U.S. Public Affairs Practice (Photo: Business Wire)

“Burson-Marsteller has been a leader in public affairs for decades by relying on a strong core of professionals drawn from both sides of the aisle,” said Burson-Marsteller U.S. CEO Dave DenHerder. “These new hires will help continue that tradition and will ensure that we offer our clients the strongest public affairs capabilities of any firm in the marketplace.”

Tibbits and Schneider will report to U.S. CEO DenHerder. Tibbits will work closely with the firm's Global Public Affairs Practice Chair Jeremy Galbraith on developing programs for public affairs clients that span across regions. The firm's current U.S. Public Affairs Practice Chair, Mike Lake, will continue in his role as the firm's Southwest Market Leader. Sheehan will report to Tibbits.

“I am excited to be joining a firm with such a tradition of excellence and strong offering in public affairs,” said Tibbits. “My goal is to make sure we focus on providing effective strategic counsel and outstanding service that generates the positive results clients have come to expect from Burson-Marsteller. I look forward to joining a team of colleagues with a proven track record of success in providing superior client service that increasingly spans across regions and around the world.”

Schneider added, “Burson-Marsteller's Washington, DC office is a critical hub for the firm and its clients. In today's economic climate, clients need seasoned leadership and strong partners. Public policy in Washington, DC affects each and every enterprise directly. I am looking forward to leading an office filled with some of the industry's leading professionals.”

Nate Tibbits

As Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (NSC), Nate Tibbits supported the President and his national security team in formulating national security policy. Prior to his time at the NSC, Tibbits was Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel. In that role, he oversaw the candidate identification and selection process for more than 1,000 presidential appointments across several government departments and agencies. Tibbits also served in a similar role for the Obama-Biden Transition Project.

With unique experience in positioning and structuring new organizations at their inception, Tibbits has been part of teams that launched think tanks, consulting firms and government enterprises. Earlier in his career, he served as founding Chief Operating Officer for the Center for a New American Security, a national security think tank. Tibbits was also Vice President for International Education at Discovery Communications. Prior to joining Discovery, he worked at The Albright Group, a consulting firm advising Fortune 100 clients on a range of international policy and public affairs matters, and at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Tibbits earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Johanna Schneider

As the Executive Director of External Relations for the Business Roundtable, an organization of chief executive officers of global companies, Johanna Schneider directed all external relations, including communications, media relations advertising, digital communications, branding and external advocacy.

Prior to joining the Business Roundtable, Schneider was Senior Adviser for Media Relations at the National Institutes of Health, where she led communications planning for the world's largest health research institution. Before NIH, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Labor. Earlier in her career, she was Press Secretary for House Republican Leader Robert Michel. Schneider began her career as a television journalist.

She earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University.

Laura Sheehan

Laura Sheehan formerly was the senior vice president of Public Affairs for the American Gas Association (AGA). In this role, Sheehan was charged with developing and overseeing the strategic direction of AGA's government relations, communications and advocacy efforts.

Prior to joining AGA, she served as vice president and managing director at FD Dittus Communications where she ran the Energy and Environment practice. Earlier, Sheehan served as policy director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), where she was the liaison with the House Leadership and Committees on policy issues and advised campaigns on the national democratic policy platform.

Prior to the DCCC, Sheehan served as spokesperson and democratic communications director for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Congressman John D. Dingell. Sheehan got her start on Capitol Hill on the Senate side where she served as press secretary for Senator Christopher J. Dodd.

Sheehan earned a Master's in Public Communications from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from Bowie State University.

About Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and web-related strategies. The firm's seamless worldwide network consists of 68 offices and 81 affiliate offices, together operating in 109 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world's leading communications services network. To learn more about Burson-Marsteller visit

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