Gagen MacDonald is pleased to announce that Charlene Wheeless is now partnering with the firm, serving in the role of Senior Advisor. Charlene has been a trusted advisor to dozens of C-suite executives over the course of her career and will be a valuable counselor and partner to many of our clients.

Most recently, Charlene served as Principal Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Bechtel, the 120 year old, multi-billion dollar global engineering and construction company. At Bechtel, she was responsible for global communications, issues and reputation management, sustainability, and public affairs, and is credited with transforming the company’s brand and reputation. Before that, she held executive positions at several leading corporations, including the Intelligence and Information Systems business unit of Raytheon, as well as positions at several other prominent companies. Throughout her career, she has played an active role in leading successful complex change initiatives and transformations, including mergers & acquisitions. Her depth of experience will augment our team’s existing expertise as we work with companies on their own strategy execution and ongoing reinventions.

Charlene is a key voice in shaping the future of the communication profession. She currently serves as the chairman of the board of trustees of the Page Society, the world’s leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communication executives. She is also on the board of the Institute for Public Relations and the Page Center, respectively. She has been named by PR Week as one of the 50 most influential PR professionals in the industry for five consecutive years, and was named to the PR Hall of Femme and PR Global Power Book.

Beyond her track record and experience as a business leader, Charlene is an author and highly visible speaker on racial and social justice issues. For several years, she’s delivered a series of lectures based on her experience as a Black female executive and breast cancer survivor and she will soon publish a book entitled You Are Enough! Reclaiming Your Career and Your Life with Purpose, Passion and Unapologetic Authenticity.” Her thinking on these topics has recently appeared in Business Insider, Chief Executive, and Chief Learning Officer, among other publications. I’m confident that Charlene’s perspective and guidance will be invaluable as we continue to help companies create cultures of diversity, equity & inclusion and chart a path toward racial justice.

In addition to her role at Gagen MacDonald, Charlene also serves as the senior advisor for equity and justice at the advisory and advocacy communications consultancy APCO Worldwide, a longstanding Gagen MacDonald partner.

We look forward to seeing Charlene’s many contributions to our clients and to the world at large. We know her impact will be immense.