The Turner Strategies team combines decades of experience from the core fields essential to shaping public opinion: media relations, online communication, including social media, and political strategy. The result is an approach to communications that effectively navigates the complex avenues between on- and off-line media and digital and real-world communities.
Suzanne Turner, President
The National Journal called Suzanne "the best communicator in America." Her communications campaigns have helped pass more than 40 pieces of legislation. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies, devising branding and marketing campaigns that have moved millions of dollars worth of products. As senior vice president at Fenton Communications for seven years, Suzanne helped grow the firm from four people to more than 100 in three cities. She was Mid-Atlantic regional manager of the high-tech PR firm The Launch Company, where she built the client base and managed a half-million dollars in client billings monthly. She is co-founder of the Internet Advocacy Center and a founding member of Progressive Communicators of DC. She has also worked as a newspaper and television reporter. She studied at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and the Université de Paris IV - La Sorbonne, and holds a BA from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Pamela Avery – Managing Partner
Pamela has 25 years’ experience creating effective solutions to complex communications challenges. She has developed and implemented comprehensive communications strategies and crisis management plans for organizations ranging from Fortune 100 technology corporations to health, social justice, environmental, education and numerous other government and nonprofit organizations. Her spokesperson training courses have been rated “excellent” and “must take” by numerous organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she has served as a primary spokesperson trainer for 14 years. A certified conflict resolution professional, Pamela successfully has facilitated meetings involving complicated social justice and environmental issues in communities throughout the nation. She knows the news media first-hand, having been an award-winning newspaper reporter, science writer, medical writer and editor. She was the founding editor of a national magazine for cancer patients and their families, and the executive producer of EarthWire, a nationally syndicated environmental radio program. Pamela also served as the deputy director of the Colorado Governor’s Office of Rural Health, which became a national model. Prior to joining Turner Strategies she was Public Relations Partner at Bozell Advertising and PR firm and owned and operated her own marketing communications firm in Denver, Colo., for 13 years. She has served on the Colorado Governor’s Environment 2000 Blue Ribbon Task Force, and as a commissioner of Thornton (Colo.) Parks and Open Space, and is past chair of Keep Omaha Beautiful, Inc. She also serves on the advisory boards of several orchestras and KVNO classical music station.
Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D- Partner
Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D., is a digital communications and social media strategist, professor & thought leader with over 20 years' experience in politics, advocacy, news media, and education. He is a partner at Turner Strategies, providing world-renowned training and strategic counsel to organizations seeking to use social and digital media more effectively. Together with Suzanne Turner, Alan founded the Internet Advocacy Roundtable in 2005—a monthly event focused on the intersection of the internet, advocacy, politics and the media. In 1995, he taught the world's first university course on digital politics. He's been teaching it ever since. Alan is also the Ombudsmen and co-founder at Take Action News and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins, American, Georgetown and Gonzaga Universities, where he teaches courses on internet politics. He was Associate Director for Online Advocacy at the Center for American Progress/CAP Action Fund from 207-2013, where he created and managed the Center's social media program. Alan blogs at SocialMediaToday.com, as well as occasionally at BigThink.com, DrDigipol.Tumblr.com, HuffingtonPost.com and previously at TechPresident.com. Find him on Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, Facebook and across the web at @DrDigipol.
Sid Balman, Partner
Sid Balman has more than 20 years experience in strategic communications with a focus on foreign affairs, security issues, publishing, economic development, corporate crisis management, campaigning, global health, corporate social responsibility, the environment and international relief and development. He has helped governments, foundations, think tanks, multilateral organizations, corporations, nonprofits and individuals negotiate a broad range of strategic communications, policy, marketing, educational and operational issues critical to their missions. Mr. Balman has lectured on journalism, international relations, communications and international development at universities in the United States and Europe, with an emphasis in recent years on the profound impact of social media on democratization, governance, human rights and social change. Since the late 1990s, when he helped found one of the first fully automated Internet-based publishing syndicates, he has been at the forefront of developing innovative content solutions and delivery platforms. He has played central roles helping to facilitate some of the most sensitive policy decisions involving US humanitarian policies, including civil-military relations, funding campaigns for international assistance programs, aid effectiveness, campaigns in support for the UN Millennium Development Goals, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, terrorism financing regulations, and USAID branding and marking requirements. And as a senior correspondent for one of the world’s largest news agencies, he led coverage of the major overseas conflicts of the 1990s as well as travelling abroad extensively with two American presidents and four secretaries of state.
Arthur Silverman, Principal
Arthur Silverman is a veteran media strategist, writer, publicist, creative director and producer. He has been a communications consultant to some of America’s leading foundations, advocacy groups and companies, including the American Medical Association, Ben and Jerry’s, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Environmental Defense Fund, Ford Foundation, Google, MoveOn.org, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pew Charitable Trusts and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before joining Turner Strategies, he was founder and president of Op-Ad Media, a boutique creative services agency. Prior to that, Art worked for eight years as Vice President, Senior Vice President and Creative Director at Fenton Communications, a leading public interest media firm. He also served as Communications Director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Art began his professional career in San Francisco, where he was deputy press secretary to Mayor Art Agnos and the founding editor of San Francisco Weekly.
Diana Ohlbaum, Principal
Diana Ohlbaum is a foreign policy specialist and Capitol Hill veteran, having served for many years as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She led the effort to comprehensively rewrite and reform the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, fought successful battles against elimination of USAID and in favor of debt relief for poor countries, championed expansion of human rights laws, and rewrote statutory guidelines for monitoring and approval of arms transfers. From 1999-2001 she served as Deputy Director of USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, a cutting-edge unit designed to advance peace and democracy in priority conflict-prone countries. She also worked as Director of Public Policy for InterAction, an alliance of NGOs engaged in humanitarian relief and international development. Dr. Ohlbaum holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Russian Studies from Amherst College. She is a senior associate with the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development and heads an independent consulting firm, DLO Global LLC, which provides legislative and political strategy for sustainable human security
Violet Tsagkas, Accounts Manager
Violet handles the full range of earned and social media projects at Turner Strategies, in addition to serving as the editor of Feminism2.0. She has been instrumental in public relations efforts for a national law firm that represents plaintiffs in major international and national human rights (Nepali laborer trafficking), gender economic inequality (Dukes v. Wal-Mart), and discrimination (Keepseagle v. Vilsack) cases. Because of her past European work experience in the communication field, she has been the point person in scheduling events for U.S. clients in Europe, in places like the House of Commons (UK) and the Duke Office in London. In addition, Violet has been helping develop materials for spokesperson and social media training sessions and has been part of the social media and spokesperson training teams. Violet has a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the National University of Athens and a MA in Political Management from the George Washington University.
Denise Hyatt-Roberts, Senior Webiste Developer
Gloria Pan, Internet Communications
Gloria conceived, organized and now administers Turner's pro bono project, Feminism2.0. Previous to joining Turner, she directed communications at The Media Center where, through the strategic use of Internet marketing and outreach, she helped transform a small, newspaper-industry-specific enterprise into an influential, widely recognized media thought leader. Gloria was editor of The Media Center's morph blog and a driving force in its annual We Media conference, a must-attend event for the media vanguard. Before that, she managed communications for the American Press Institute. From 1991 to 2000, she resided in Tokyo, Japan. After completing a masters program in development economics at Sophia University, she became international editor and writer for The Nippon Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in Japan. Gloria holds a BA in political economy from Barnard College and speaks Mandarin, Chinese and some Japanese.
Sue Dorfman- Media Relations
Sue Dorfman is a seasoned public relations professional, photojournalist, radio reporter and educator. For more than 25 years, her ability to successfully connect with key journalists has resulted in placements in major national media print and broadcast outlets, online and in market specific publications. Her belief in the importance of dialogue has led Sue to coordinate such campaigns as a speaking tour of a Palestinian and an Israeli doctor for Physicians for Human Rights; organize press events at such venues as the National Press Club and the Carter Center; and lead workshops on conflict resolution, human rights and media for social change. An intrepid traveler and photographer, she has documented social conditions in more than two-dozen countries. Her film on the importance of voting, Dying to Vote, was screened widely during the 2004 election cycle. She holds a MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, a MA in Social Economy/Social Policy from Boston College and a BA in Government from Oberlin College.
Naomi has built her career on transforming talented people and organizations into powerhouses of influence. Her hard-hitting media strategies have consistently put her clients on the map over the past 20 years, in a career spanning both Coasts and the very different worlds of Washington D.C. and Hollywood. She has played a pivotal role in ending the careers of some of the most corrupt members of Congress, exposing front groups and the corporate interests behind them and systematically rooting out misinformation in the media. Naomi launched and directed the communications operations of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Media Matters for America. Her hard-hitting media strategies have penetrated every national media outlet, including CNN, the New York Times, NPR, The Daily and The Daily Show. Naomi was the media force behind the defense of outed undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson and appeared briefly in Fair Game (2010), which portrayed Ms. Plame’s extraordinary journey. She has worked with high-profile actors from Kim Cattrall to Ellen Page to the stars of Criminal Minds, successfully advancing their advocacy efforts. Last year, she launched the 'Rebuild The Dream' Campaign Tour with Van Jones, Shepard Fairey and The Roots in New York City. Naomi has been featured on media including CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, The Hill, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and writes for AmericaBlog. Naomi is a partner with the Truman National Security Network and has worked extensively on Capitol Hill. She is president of Seligman Consulting. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the University of Sussex in England.
Cliff is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients. In 2008, his first book, The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him—And Why Independents Shouldn’t, was published by PoliPoint Press and became a political (#2) and non-fiction (#17) bestseller at Amazon. As founder and President of Libertas, he has counseled Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and The Alliance For Climate Protection, run by former Vice-President Al Gore. Other clients have included IBM, The American Association for Justice (previously The American Trial Lawyers Association), Global Strategy Group, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, and the Earth Day Network. Schecter was an analyst at polling firm Penn & Schoen in 1996, helping re-elect President Bill Clinton. As a political and media strategist overall, he has helped advise the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as the campaigns of former Virginia Governor and current U.S. Senator Mark Warner, former New York Attorney General and Governor Elliot Spitzer, former Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont and former Ohio Congressional candidate Paul Hackett, among others. Schecter’s been a lecturer for the U.S. State Department—delivering briefings on U.S. politics to diplomats, journalists and academics in countries such as South Africa, Australia, Romania and Malta. Schecter is a weekly columnist for Al Jazeera English, reaching almost 400,000 readers, 80% of which reside in North America. He is a contributor to The Guardian Online and Huffington Post. Previously, Schecter had columns syndicated nationally by United Press International and Knight Ridder Inc. Over the past decade, Schecter has been a regular guest on PBS, MSNBC, CNN FoxNews, BBC and NPR. Currently he is a regular panelist on Your Voice, a Sunday morning public affairs show broadcast on Fox and ABC in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Greg Howard, National Media Relations
Greg Howard has more than 25 years of experience in earned media placement, issues management and strategic communications. Greg has worked on numerous high-profile assignments, from U.S. Supreme Court cases to major health, medical, environmental and social announcements. He consistently exceeds client expectations using his years of experience to answer the key question reporters ask: why should my audience care? Greg has obtained high-profile, high-impact media placements with PBS’s Frontline, ABC World News Tonight, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CBS Morning News, CBS’s now-defunct 60 Minutes II, CNBC’s Squawk Box and Market Wrap; CNN Prime News, CNN Headline News, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel’s Cavuto Business Report, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, PBS’s Nightly Business Report and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. He has also placed multiple client stories with The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, as well as The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Sascha Burns, Political Strategist
Sascha is a political strategist and news commentator, frequently debating conservative pundits on MSNBC and the Fox News Channel. She delivers analysis on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates, and on international news channels and news radio. She anchored the 2004 Democratic National Convention's online political coverage, conducting primetime, off-the-podium interviews with the keynote speakers. She served on the Advisory Council of Senator John Kerry's Presidential Exploratory Committee, as national advance staff for press operations on the 2000 Gore/Lieberman Campaign, and as a longtime lobbyist at Patton Boggs, the top-ranked public policy firm in the country. Sascha was also on the staff of United States Senator Sam Nunn.
Dominic Frederico, Spokesperson Trainer/Video Production
Dominic is an Emmy-award winning television photojournalist who, as an independent cameraman, regularly works on news stories and documentaries for major network and cable TV programs, including ABC News, Good Morning America, Nightline, NBC Dateline, CBS Early Show, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CNN, National Geographic Today, The Discovery Channel and PBS Health Diary. He covered the Democratic National Convention in Denver for national broadcast outlets, is covering the 2012 Presidential Election and regularly covers breaking stories for ABC and other national TV networks. He was a photojournalist with ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver for 10 years and Chief Photographer for CBS Affiliate KKTV in Colorado Springs for two. Dominic has been conducting spokesperson training with Pamela Avery for nearly a decade, and also has provided media relations consultation and training for FEMA. Dominic served as Aeromedical Operations Officer with the Medical Service Corps of the Wyoming Air National Guard and was stationed in Iraq. Dominic’s video production company, Appaloosa Productions, Inc., is certified as a Service-Disabled Veteran Small Business.
Ben Carlson, National Marketing Communications and Branding
Ben has a long history of activism and service in LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations, with a focus on marketing and communications. He coordinated media relations for the NAMES Project Foundation when the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed in its entirety in Washington, DC. He directed public relations for the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration, one of the world’s largest pride parades. He has written columns on HIV/AIDS policy and on media portrayals of LGBT people for the LGBT press. He was associate producer and on-air talent for Hibernia Beach LIVE on the top modern rock radio station in San Francisco, which at the time was the nation’s longest-running gay-hosted radio talk show. Carlson has also served as vice president for communications at two of the world's most innovative biotechnology companies, where he mastered the art of crisis and issues communications. Ben has consulted on digital graphics, branding and Web site development. His "trustmark" for online privacy seal program TRUSTe is among the Web's most familiar symbols. Ben holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Mari Ann Donnelly, Design
Mari Ann has extensive experience creating powerful and appropriate solutions for a wide variety of clients in both small studio environments and at the major global ad agency Ogilvy PR Worldwide. She has a broad background in design, advertising, fine arts, print production and project management. She is featured in GRAPHIS Student Design 96, Creativity 31 and Letterheads Gone Digital by David E. Carter. She is the recipient of numerous design awards, including the Neenah Paper Award and the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington Merit Award.
Lisa has more than 25 years of marketing communications and public affairs experience on agricultural issues. She has served as vice president of public affairs for the American Seed Trade Association and as communications director for the National Pork Producers Council, the Animal Health Institute and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Lisa has strong relationships with key organizations and opinion leaders in the production agriculture and food safety communities. In addition, she has a proven track record in issue and crisis management in multiple high-profile agricultural issues. As spokesperson for various clients, she has participated in numerous national print, radio, and television stories. Lisa graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in communications, and did post-graduate study at New York University. A native of the Missouri Bootheel, she retains an interest in her family's cotton farm.
Hank is principal and creative director of Ampheta Creative, a graphic design and marketing communications consulting firm located in the Washington, DC area. His firm, founded in 2000, specializes in creating integrated cross-media marketing communications, including print collateral, print and Web advertising, tradeshow exhibits, interactive media and corporate identity development. The firm has a broad client base, including commercial, government and association accounts. His work has been recognized in Print magazine, and he received an Addy award for pro bono work done for the American Heart Association. Prior to starting Ampheta Creative, he worked as an art director for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, VA, and as creative director for Reston Design Group in Reston, VA. Hank holds a BA in communication arts and design from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Laura Williamson McCafferty
Laura Williamson McCafferty is an award-winning journalist and public relations consultant. She honed her writing skills at several daily newspapers, culminating with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). Over the past 12 years, she has written for a variety of organizations, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund, American Diabetes Association, Joslin Diabetes Center, Scenic America, Porter Novelli, Scenic Maryland, Environmental Media Services, Science Communication Network, IQ Solutions, American College of Preventive Medicine, Green Seal and others. She has written and placed op-eds and advertorials in major national publications, including USA Today, the Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, US News & World Report and Good Housekeeping. She has written correspondence signed by President Bill Clinton; speeches for the CEOs of the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; talking points for former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and several Members of Congress. Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Georgetown University (Magna Cum Laude, with a certificate in Honors English), after spending a year abroad studying French literature at the University of Paris/Sorbonne. She also has a master’s in Journalism from the University of Maryland.
Susan is the winner of the 2002 Best of Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America for the broadcast launch of XM Satellite Radio, and of the 2003 Silver Anvil for the 911 volunteerism initiative, MyGoodDeed. A veteran public relations consultant with over 20 years of experience, she has generated high-profile media coverage for national campaigns, issues and groups that advocate for the environment, hunger relief, ending genocide in Darfur, healthcare, voting rights and disaster relief. Her management positions for media giants, including The Walt Disney Company and Universal Studios, have given her first-hand knowledge and special insight when developing strategies for successful national print and broadcast coverage. She has established long-standing relationships with key editors, reporters and producers in business, consumer and trade media outlets. Her clients have included Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, United Animal Nations, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN, Feature Story News, the American Red Cross, Symantec, Iomega, E! Entertainment TV, "Entertainment Tonight" and many more. Susan holds a BA in cinema and communications from Hunter College in New York City.
Richard has spent two decades in journalism and public affairs and is principal of the Sheehe Group, offering communications strategy, content and training. With specialties in strategic communications, media training and internal/workforce communications, Richard has served clients in healthcare, non-profit and academic sectors as well as the NIH, CDC, DHS, USDA, NTSB and other government agencies. A former national correspondent and news anchor for the NBC radio network and freelance reporter for The New York Times and the Associated Press, Richard served as assistant vice president for communications at George Washington University and director of strategic communications for the National Academy of Public Administration. He was also an adjunct professor and director of media relations at GW Medical Center, where he supervised the media response to 9/11 and the hospitalizations of anthrax victims and the U.S. vice president. He co-authored an HHS media guide on public health and developed crisis training curricula for the CDC. Richard is a training instructor at EEI Business Communications and president of Capital Area Healthcare Communicators, a professional development affiliate of the American Hospital Association.
And, last but not least, our favorite rocket scientist...
Ralph Sklarew, Ph.D.
Ralph is a principal at Working Widgets, which develops and implements Web 2.0 strategies to extend brands using portable Web applications called widgets. His widgets have been used by top musicians to empower their fans to track performances and virally build their communities. He is now working to bring this same model to impassioned affinity groups in the nonprofit world. He is known as an entrepreneur and technologist, having founded three companies and been awarded a dozen patents. He programs in Flash and Flex to make rich, interactive Web applications. He has published and spoken on many diverse fields, from environmental science to space industrialization to working in virtual worlds. He was awarded a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California.