Frank Ovaitt

Frank OvaittFrank Ovaitt, APR, was President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), an independent research and education foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations.

Previously, Frank was Executive Vice President, Makovsky + Company, and Managing Director of Crossover International Inc., where he helped clients implement mergers, re-brandings, Chapter 11 filings and other critical changes that required management teams and employees to work together toward new corporate objectives.  He managed public relations agency search and selection in dozens of countries, establishing cross-market management systems and managing international events.  He also served as Chief Marketing Officer for BTM Corporation, a business technology management company in Stamford, CT.

Prior to founding Crossover, Frank was Vice President-Corporate Affairs for MCI.  His chief communications officer responsibilities included a full range of internal and external communications.  He played a central role in reshaping the company’s image as it entered information services and led the communications for an industry coalition to lobby the U.S. Congress on the most sweeping telecom legislation in 60 years.

Before joining MCI, Frank held a variety of executive positions with AT&T.  As Public Relations Vice President-International, he directed all communications efforts outside the U.S., establishing a network of staff and agencies to represent the company in more than 40 countries.  Other assignments included Director of College & University Relations and Customer Communications Director for the legendary Bell Laboratories.

As Editorial Services Director for Monsanto, a leading chemical and biotechnology company, Frank was the chief writer responsible for award-winning shareowner publications, executive speeches and issues management.  He began his career with Southwestern Bell Corporation.

Frank holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MBA from New York University.  He taught applied public relations research at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.  He also taught seminars on international public relations and delivered guest lectures at the University of Florida, the University of Maryland, the University of Missouri, George Mason University, New York University and Syracuse University.  Current and former affiliations and honors include:

  • PR News Measurement Hall of Fame
  • David Ferguson Award for contributions to public relations education by a practitioner
  • Founding Chair, Commission on Global Public Relations Research
  • Co-Chair, Campaign for Media Transparency, International Public Relations Association
  • Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America; Chair of the International Section
  • Co-Chair, Commission on Public Relations Education
  • Member, Arthur W. Page Society for chief communications officers
  • Member, Commission on Public Relations Measurement & Evaluation
  • Advisor, “News in the Next Century” project, Radio & TV News Directors Foundation

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