Katherine Burns is an accomplished communications executive, recognized for her innovative leadership and strategic vision. She currently oversees external communications for L’Oréal Groupe in the US, the company’s largest subsidiary with a portfolio of over 35 iconic beauty brands and annual sales of more than $9 billion.

Katherine spearheads the development and execution of L’Oréal’s proactive reputation-building and visibility strategy, with a focus on advancing the company’s key business initiatives. She works closely with the company’s global and US C-Suite executives as a trusted advisor and orchestrates cross-functional collaboration across key business areas (sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion, human resources, research and innovation, and digital and marketing, among others) and Divisions (Consumer Products Division, L’Oréal Dermatological Beauty, Professional Products Division, and Luxe). Her work includes a focus on media relations, events, and awards while working closely with crisis and issues management, public affairs, brand and content, and internal communications.

Prior to joining L’Oréal, Katherine led external communications for Deloitte US’s Office of the CEO, developing and implementing communications strategy for the firm and its top leaders. She also previously worked in Edelman’s Corporate and Public Affairs practice and in Weber Shandwick’s Corporate and Financial Services practices where she led and supported work for a variety of top US and global companies spanning industries including financial services, consumer products, technology, education, and healthcare, among others.

During her career, Katherine has led major activations at the world’s most prestigious and high-impact events including the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Consumer Electronic Show. She’s worked with and secured coverage in every top-tier media outlet, strengthening positioning for the world’s largest companies.

Katherine serves as the first-ever Institute for Public Relations ELEVATE Chair. She also previously completed the Page Future Leaders program. Katherine graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with honors of distinction from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Communications Studies.