Helaine S. Klasky was vice president and chair of the US Public Affairs and Crisis Practice at Burson Marstellar. In this role, she was responsible for building the strategic communications and global public relation firm’s extensive client portfolio and for helping clients to achieve their corporate and public policy objectives. As a member of IDS International’s Advisory Board, she contributes her extensive experience crafting and leading dynamic communications and public affairs strategies that have guided policy for public, private, and government institutions. She also serves as strategic advisor for New York-based company, Handshake.
Before joining Burson Marstellar, Klasky served for more than seven years as chief communications officer for GE Energy Management, where she created and led GE’s global public affairs function. She also served as senior adviser for GE Business Innovations. Throughout her tenure at GE, she advised company leadership on communications, public affairs, and outreach strategies, including thought leadership and digital engagement. She also developed and drove strategies and data analytics to maximize customer engagement and business growth. By identifying and creating relationships with key stakeholders, she further positioned the company as an industry leader and improve the market conditions for growth.
Before GE, Klasky spent eight years as chief communications officer and associate vice president at Yale University, where she developed and implemented strategic communications plans for the university and spearheaded communications for many of its science and global initiatives. Before that, she was deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of the Treasury, advising then-Secretary Lawrence Summers and other senior Treasury officials on all media matters and coordinating with White House offices and other government agencies.
Earlier in her career, Klasky served as spokesperson and deputy assistant US trade representative for public affairs. In this capacity, she managed the communications strategies related to China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and helped the government navigate a response to the public demonstrations surrounding the WTO meetings in Seattle. Prior to that she served as director of media relations at the US Department of State and worked for two members in the US Senate.
Klasky received a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She has Master’s degrees in international relations from American University and in education from the University of Virginia.