Gainesville, Fla. – The Institute for Public Relations is thrilled to announce nine new Trustees to the Board:

  • Kristine Boyden, BCW, Chief Executive Officer (US)
  • Katherine Burns, L’Oreal Groupe (US), AVP, Corporate Affairs and Engagement
  • Whitney Eichinger, Southwest Airlines, Chief Communications Officer
  • Juan Meng, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Public Relations and Department Head of Advertising and Public Relations
  • Amy Jo Meyer, Medtronics, Vice President of Corporate Communications
  • Frank Tramble, Duke University, Vice President for Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs
  • Mark Walters, Capital Group, Senior Vice President, Head of Communications
  • Damion Waymer, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Professor and Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications 
  • Kelly Williamson, APCO Worldwide (North America), President



Kristine Boyden

Kristine Boyden
Chief Executive Officer, US

As BCW’s Chief Executive Officer, Americas, Kristine Boyden covers North America, Canada, Mexico and Latin America, bringing her rigorous approach to client service and unwavering commitment to talent development into her oversight of business growth; senior client counsel; and talent acquisition, development and retention.  

Boyden joins BCW after three years as Chief Communications Officer with GM’s Cruise, the self-driving automotive company. In that role she built the communications team, an in-house creative studio and cutting-edge media analytics operation. Before joining Cruise, Boyden spent more than 18 years with Edelman, most recently as president of the agency’s U.S. Western Region, leading more than 650 colleagues and award-winning campaigns. She was also a key architect of the firm’s approach to serving global clients at scale and a co-founder of its U.S. large clients and talent development program. Over the course of her career at Edelman, Boyden represented clients spanning fast-growing startups to Fortune 50 companies across myriad sectors, including Adobe, Genentech, Taco Bell, Starbucks, PayPal, and many more. Before that, she spent six years as the global client relationship leader for HP, and actually started her career deep in the early days of the tech sector helping start-ups develop business plans and secure funding. 

Katherine Burns

Katherine Burns
AVP, Corporate Affairs and Engagement
L’Oreal Groupe (US)

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.

whitney e.

Whitney Eichinger
Chief Communications Officer
Southwest Airlines

Whitney leads Culture, Communications, and Employee Engagement at Southwest Airlines through a collection of Teams unified in differentiating the Southwest brand for internal and external audiences with transparent and creative communication, strong support for communities the airline serves, and a highly engaged workforce that’s well recognized for celebrating Customers and each other while working hard and smart.

Whitney’s passion for the iconic Culture of Southwest propelled her to Vice President, Culture and Engagement where, along with a focused effort to keep the Culture strong, she led strategy and delivery of Employees’ Experience through curated Employee Insights and thoughtful Change Leadership.

Prior to returning to Southwest, the company where she launched her career with 15 years of service in Communications & Outreach, Whitney led Communication at Detroit-based Rock Ventures and Bedrock, a commercial real estate investment firm owned by Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans and Chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Through the storytelling of the more than 100 businesses that comprise Gilbert’s Rock family of companies, Whitney’s team championed the success stories of a Detroit renaissance. Prior, Whitney joined Ford Motor Co. in 2014 to focus on financial, investor, and legal communications, as well as those surrounding the Lincoln brand.

Across more than two decades in Communication and Culture, Whitney has built strong relationships with peers inside and outside the airline industry. She’s a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the world’s leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives and educators. She serves on the College of Charleston Communications Council that fosters collaboration between leaders of Fortune 500 Companies and those studying Communication, as she did in achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the University of Texas at Arlington.

While her professional passion is the world of communication, her love for animal welfare runs deep. She serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the SPCA of Texas and is a past chair of Fur Ball and Strut Your Mutt, and hopes to be a foster one day! 2 Along with their dog, Chief, Whitney, her husband, Erik, and their son, Owen, live in North Texas. She fills any spare time with traveling the globe, listening to podcasts, and scouring The New York Times cooking app for new recipes.

Dr. Juan Meng

Juan Meng, Ph.D.
Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Public Relations and Department Head
University of Georgia

Dr. Juan (pronounced as “Dren”) Meng is the Georgia Athletic Association Endowed Professor of Public Relations and the Head of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Dr. Meng’s research specialization includes public relations leadership, leadership development, gender and leadership in PR, diversity and inclusion in talent management, and global communication. Meng has published more than 75 refereed journal articles, scholarly book chapters and research reports on leadership-related topics. She has presented at various panels, workshops, webinars, and symposiums and won different research awards nationally and internationally. She is the co-editor or co-author of four scholarly books on public relations leadership and strategic communication. Meng serves on the national and international editorial advisory board for leading scholarly journals in public relations, including Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, among others.

She is the founder and director of UGA‘s Go Global Choose China program. She also founded Grady College’s Cooperative Education 3+1+1 programs with Shanghai Normal University and Shanghai International Studies University. Meng serves on the national advisory board of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, Institute for Public Relations ELEVATE, and Ragan Communications and PR Daily. Meng served as the Research Vice Chair on the executive leadership committee of the Educators Academy at Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2022. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Amy Jo Meyer Headshot

Amy Jo Meyer
VP, Corporate Communications

Amy Jo Meyer is a trusted, strategic communications leader with 15+ years’ experience in healthcare technology.  Since 2021, Meyer has led Medtronic Corporate Communications, where she is responsible for leading the intentional development and ongoing management of Medtronic’s internal and external reputation globally; creating and executing communication strategies that build trust across targeted stakeholders and amplify the Medtronic strategic narrative. Meyer leads a team of strategic communications professionals that: 

  • Drive proactive and reactive earned media relations, reputational issues and crisis management, and financial communications. 
  • Provide strategic counsel and communications support to functional ExCom leaders and develop executive thought-leadership strategies. 
  • Lead enterprise-wide employee communication initiatives and channels designed to engage and activate Medtronic employees. 
  • Enable best-in-class communications by deploying resources to critical and strategic enterprise priorities; rapidly identifying best practices for internal and external communications and developing tools and training at scale to drive adoption across the enterprise. 

Meyer first joined Medtronic in 2017 as Sr. Director, Global Communications and Corporate Marketing for the Americas Region, and served as a member of the Americas Senior Leadership Team.

Prior to Medtronic, Meyer worked at Johnson & Johnson where she served as Financial and M&A Communication Leader, as well as the Director of Corporate Media Relations. During her time at Johnson & Johnson, Meyer led communications regarding the company’s strategy and financial performance, developed and managed a communication platform for the Chief Financial Officer, and led communications for several major acquisitions. In her media relations capacity, she also managed significant corporate issues and served as a public spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson. 

Meyer also served in a variety of communication roles at St. Jude Medical over the course of seven years, including leading all external communications for the company as Director of Public Relations. While at St. Jude Medical, she led product launch communications, issues management, media relations, clinical trial support, and managed key internal initiatives including the launch of the company’s first global intranet. 

Meyer began her career at Tunheim Partners, where she provided support and communication counsel to varied clients across retail, B2B, agriculture, fashion, entertainment and healthcare industries. 

Meyer graduated from the University of Minnesota with both a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications, as well as a Master of Business Administration. 

Frank Tramble

Frank Tramble
Vice President for Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs
Duke University

Frank Tramble is a distinguished communications professional with a wealth of experience in strategic executive communications, crisis communications, integrated marketing communications, and brand management. As the Vice President for Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs at Duke University, he assumes a pivotal role as the university’s chief communications and brand strategist. In this capacity, he leads comprehensive communications and marketing programs that drive Duke’s strategic priorities, enhance its reputation, and oversee crisis communications and issues management.

As a trusted strategic adviser and partner to President Vincent Price and other university leaders, Frank Tramble serves on the President’s Cabinet. He provides guidance and direction for the university’s central communications, marketing, media relations, and brand management activities. Additionally, he offers leadership and support to communications professionals across various schools and units within the university, ensuring a cohesive and impactful approach.

Before joining Duke University, Frank Tramble held the position of Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at Howard University, where he successfully led integrated marketing and communications activities to elevate the university’s reputation and advance its institutional priorities. Under his visionary leadership, Howard University experienced significant growth in brand recognition, marked by transformative initiatives such as the award-winning redesign of the university’s magazine and the establishment of The Dig, a pioneering daily storytelling hub.

Throughout his career, Frank Tramble has achieved national media coverage for his work, including notable accomplishments such as Howard University’s swim and dive team becoming the first all-Black swim team ever to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. He has collaborated with renowned writers, artists, and photographers, including Pete Souza, further amplifying Howard’s visibility and impact on a global scale. Additionally, Frank Tramble has been instrumental in developing communication strategies for high-profile individuals such as Phylicia Rashad, Nicole Hannah-Jones, and Ta-Nehesi Coates, and has worked closely with the White House on various communication plans.

Beyond his professional roles, Frank Tramble is an esteemed adjunct professor in the integrated marketing communications graduate program at Georgetown University, where he imparts his expertise and teaches students the fundamentals of brand strategy. He has served as a lead judge for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Digital Communication Awards, showcasing his industry knowledge and commitment to excellence. As a sought-after speaker, Frank Tramble shares insights on crisis communications, career development, the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in communities, and best practices in branding and marketing. He also serves as a mentor, nurturing the talents of communications students and professionals and guiding them toward success.

Frank Tramble’s leadership has been recognized with numerous accolades throughout his career, including Education Digital Marketing Awards, multiple CASE Awards, Eddie & Ozzie Awards, and a PRSA Bronze Anvil award, highlighting the outstanding achievements of his teams.

Frank Tramble holds a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in advertising management from Michigan State University. With his deep commitment to excellence and passion for compelling storytelling, Frank Tramble continues to make a lasting impact in the communications and marketing field.

Mark Walters

Mark Walters
Senior Vice President, Head of Communications
Capital Group

Mark Walters is an experienced Public Relations and Communications leader with two decades of experience gained both in agency and in-house roles across the globe, having spent time in London, Hong Kong and Washington DC he is now based in New York. 

Since August 2022 he has led communications for Capital Group, one of the world’s most respected asset managers. Prior to Capital he served as the Global Head of Communications at KPMG, one of the world’s leading professional services organizations, with global revenues in excess of US$30bn, and more that 230,000 employees in 140 countries, where he was responsible for all internal, external and social media communications, and issues and crisis communications.   

Prior to re-joining KPMG in 2019, Mark led external communications at AIA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company based in Hong Kong, and also served as Global Director of Communications at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. 

Before joining KPMG for the first time in 2012 as Director of Communications for Office of the Global Chairman & Special Projects, Mark was Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications, in the Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting (formerly Financial Dynamics). He moved to Hong Kong with FTI to support the development of the Corporate Communications Practice in Asia. He also worked in FTI’s London and Washington D.C. practices. 

Throughout his career Mark has helped clients and leading global companies develop and implement purpose led strategic communications programs designed to enhance and protect their reputations, while promoting their business and engaging stakeholders. 

Damion Waymer

Damion Waymer, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of South Carolina

Damion Waymer, a native of Orangeburg, SC, is the Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. Prior to this appointment, he held varied administrative roles including the Senior Associate Dean of the College of Communication & Information Sciences as well as the as Department Chair of Advertising & Public Relations at The University of Alabama.

Waymer is a scholar and administrator who is committed to access, advancement, and faculty development. Waymer led aggressive faculty recruitment and retention initiatives in his role as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Development & Diversity at the University of Cincinnati. He spearheaded new faculty development opportunities, and he created annual university-level awards such as the Provost Exemplary Department Award where top departments were recognized for their excellence in a pre-determined area. Additionally, while at the University of Cincinnati, he managed signature faculty recruitment and retention initiatives such as the Dual Career Assistance program—a program designed to help the partners of recruited faculty members find employment within and outside of the University; the Strategic Hiring Opportunity Program—a program designed to purposefully increase the gender and racial and ethnic diversity of the University’s faculty; and the Cluster Hiring Initiative—a cross-disciplinary faculty recruitment initiative designed to harness the power of faculty members in targeted areas in an attempt to help solve the world’s biggest challenges through leading-edge research and interdisciplinary collaborations. In sum, Waymer successfully led these initiatives, with an annual budget of approximately $7 million.

Waymer is a seasoned communication researcher and practitioner who has conducted, for nearly two decades, high quality, internationally respected research in the contexts of public relations, crisis communication, corporate social responsibility (CSR), branding, and strategic communication. He earned his BA degree in Corporate Communication from the College of Charleston and MA and Ph.D. degrees from the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Waymer has held faculty appointments at leading research institutions such as Virginia Tech, University of Cincinnati, and Texas A&M University. He and his family currently reside in Columbia, SC.

Kelly Williamson (APCO)

Kelly Williamson
APCO Worldwide (North America)

Kelly Williamson is president of APCO Worldwide’s North America region. As the youngest female member on APCO’s Global Leadership Team, she is accustomed to exploring new territory and capturing opportunities. She’s a strategic advisor and an entrepreneur at-heart. From the founding of APCO’s Raleigh presence and helping grow it into a flourishing business; to regularly galvanizing new and creative ideas from around the world; or simply challenging herself, her clients and her managers to think bigger and act more boldly, Ms. Williamson is a force of nature who consistently challenges the status quo.

Her dedication to improving the firm’s culture and infrastructure of APCO is laudable. After beginning her APCO career as an intern in 1999, Kelly now helps global companies transform their business and be prepared for what’s next.

Ms. Williamson’s tenure features career highlights across diverse industry sectors and regions. She created our Accelerate What’s Right program that addresses systemic racism and builds inclusive cultures for our teams, clients and community. She’s a specialist in issues and corporate reputation, particularly for regulated industries. She built and initially led APCO’s key client initiative that trains colleagues globally on how to provide exceptional client service.

In recent years, Ms. Williamson was honored several times for her significant career accomplishments. She won a 2022 Top Women in Communications Award in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion category; was named a Champion in the 2018 PRWeek Hall of Femme; and was named a 2018 Top Women in PR by PR News.

Ms. Williamson is on the board of advisors at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Media and Journalism School and prior to joining APCO she served as a financial management consultant for the Principal Financial Group. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communication with a concentration in public relations and business from James Madison University.

About the Institute for Public Relations
Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use.  IPR predicts and analyzes global factors transforming the profession, and amplifies and engages the professional globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.


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