10 Powerful PR People in the Non-Profit World

Sometimes it’s hard to separate the people doing non-profit work from those doing the public relations for them. So, though some of those mentioned here may not have a PR title, they are intricately involved in public relations policy as it affects their non-profit organization. This list is not the absolute top 10, but 10 who make a big impact in the non-profit arena. So – in no particular order – just the list as it appears.

1. Bill and Melinda Gates, as co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, run the the world’s largest philanthropic foundation. They specifically enjoy raising and donating funds in the areas of health policy and education all around the globe.

2. Bill McKibben of 350.org. McKibben is an environmental activist and college professor at Middlebury College in Vermont. 350.org’s efforts are focused on revitalizing the climate-change movement. Most recently McKibben has been working to encourage colleges to divest from oil stocks by hosting a global youth conference about climate change in Istanbul, Turkey, taking place May 20-22, 2015.

3. Michael Bloomberg, New York’s former Mayor. He’s a self-made billionaire, and involved with so many important issues.

4. Cristina Jimenez is an immigrant-rights organizer with United We Dream, as the organization’s managing director. United We Dream is a network of youth-led immigrant groups pushing Washington to create a way to citizenship for those who are living in the U.S. illegally.

5. Christine LaGarde is the former French Finance Minister and is currently the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). LaGarde was recently elected as the managing director by member states of the IMF. She is a lawyer and has held many positions of leadership in the French government. In 2014, Forbes named her as the 5th most powerful woman in the world. The IMF has approximately $1 trillion that can be used to help IMF (European) member nations experiencing economic crises.

6. Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation is in the position to influence budget battles in Washington DC. The Heritage Foundation is a strong proponent of conservatism and was one of the original backers of the Tea Party movement. Whether you believe in his politics or not, you have to admit that this is a man of power and influence in the non-profit world.

7. Salman Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy. Khan’s father is from Bangladesh and his mother from India, although he was born and raised in Louisiana. The Khan Academy is focused on world education and its website features more than 3,600 videos and practice exercises relating to economics, science, math and other topics. Khan started the organization to tutor his cousins and friends, many living outside the U.S. He is a graduate of MIT with several degrees in mathematics. The Khan Academy has received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and many other non-profits. Khan’s YouTube educational videos have been viewed hundreds of millions of times.

8. David Skorton is the Secretary of the Smithsonian. Skorton oversees $1.3 billion in funds and 6,300 employees. He is deeply devoted to supporting the arts. Skorton’s efforts outside of his official title are largely based around bringing the attention of world leaders and large foundations to the field of art.

9. Jane Chu is the fairly new in her role as Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts. Chu travels frequently to make appearances and, as she is becoming better known, those working with her say she is skilled, knowledgeable, and friendly. It is evident that Chu’s influence will be felt deeply in coming years throughout the nonprofit world.

10. Josephine Ramirez is the Program Director of Arts for The James Irvine Foundation. Under Ramirez’s direction, this foundation is working hard to promote and achieve true equity in funding allocations for the arts. She is highly regarded by others in the field for her commitment and understanding of the field. Ramirez has also compiled a remarkable team to help in her efforts as program director for the foundation.

So there you have them, our 10 choices though certainly not the only ones who fit this category. Do you think we missed someone? Tell us who you would add.

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian
5WPR CEO and Founderof the Ronn Torossian Foundation, Ronn Torossian was born August 25th, 1974 in Brooklyn, NY. Torossian has grown his PR Agency, 5W Public Relations, into a top 25 United States PR Firm. A life long New Yorker, Ronn currently resides with his children on the Upper West Side of New York City. Author of best selling PR Book "For Immediate Release" , you can find regular contributions of Ronn's writing on the Huffington Post, Business insider, Fox News, Everything-PR, the Observer, Wired Insights and many other publications.
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