2008 Alexander Hamilton Medal Winner
Steven J. Harris
General Motors Corporation
Steve Harris has spent more than 40 years in communications, the vast majority of it with U.S. auto manufacturers. In his current capacity as head of global communications at General Motors, he leads of team of professionals who provide a wide variety of communications services in support of GM’s operations and brands in 12,000 communities and 200 countries around the globe.
Harris first joined GM in 1967 as a lecturer with GM’s Previews of Progress educational program after graduating from the University of Southern California with a BA in Journalism.
In late 1979, he joined American Motors as head of product public relations, moving on to Chrysler as the director of corporate public relations in late 1987. He was named vice president-communications for Chrysler in January 1998. Following the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz in late 1998 he was named senior vice president-communications.
In early 1999 Harris returned to General Motors after a 20-year absence as vice president-global communications, a post he held until the end of 2003 when he retired and opened a communications consulting practice. He was asked to return to GM in his current role in February 2006.
Harris has served on the boards of the Arthur W. Page Society, Institute for Public Relations, Foundation for American Communications and the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for Strategic Public Relations.
In February 2008, Harris was one of the first recipients of the SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Public Relations. In 2007, he was inducted into the Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame and named an Automotive News’ All Star for automotive public relations for the eighth time. The Detroit Chapter of the Public Relations Society for America named him to their Hall of Fame in 2002 and he has also received awards from Inside PR for crisis management and the University of Southern California’s Outstanding Journalism Alumni award.