NEW YORK, NY — Justin Smith, co-Founder and CEO of Semafor, will be the 2023 Institute for Public Relations Distinguished Lecturer at the 61st Annual IPR Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner on November 30 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Prior to founding Semafor in 2022, Smith was the CEO of Bloomberg Media, Bloomberg L.P.’s global multi-platform media organization. Before Bloomberg, Smith was President of Atlantic Media, where he led a dramatic revitalization of The Atlantic and founded the award-winning global digital brand, Quartz.

“The IPR Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner promises to be a special evening as we honor the exemplary individuals who are architecting the future of our profession,” said Catherine Hernandez-Blades, IPR Trustee and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at SAIC. “We are particularly delighted to welcome Justin Smith of Semafor as our celebrated speaker and look forward to his unique insights on challenging the status quo.”

More than 300 professionals typically attend the IPR Annual Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner to support the mission of IPR, a nonprofit organization focused on research that matters to the public relations and communication profession. This event is the largest annual fundraiser for IPR, supported by many IPR Trustees and ELEVATE members, who are senior executives from global corporate, agency, nonprofit, and academic organizations. Along with the Lecture, the event honors leaders in the profession with lifetime achievement awards and students with research awards.

Dating back to 1961, the Distinguished Lecturer is a honor bestowed  to a respected and accomplished leader who offers their wisdom on the most important issues of our time. In 2022, Fortune CEO Alan Murray served as the Distinguished Lecturer. Other Distinguished Lecturers include Geoff Colvin, Dana Perino, Mark Leibowitz, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Ravi Agrawal, and Lee Rainie.

Tickets to the event are $550 each and tables of 10 can be purchased for $5,500, and a limited number of premium tables (with additional sponsor benefits) of 10 are available for $10,000. The price includes a networking cocktail reception, the awards dinner, and the Distinguished Lecture. All tickets may be purchased on the IPR website or by contacting Rachel Beene at


About the Institute for Public Relations
The Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit research foundation dedicated to fostering greater use of research and research-based knowledge in corporate communication and the public relations practice. IPR is dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations.™ IPR provides timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use. All research, including a weekly research letter, is available for free at


Brittany Higginbotham
Communications & Digital Specialist

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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