Kathy Baird is the Chief Communications Officer of The Washington Post and a marketing and communications strategist with 25 years’ experience across Fortune 500 companies. At The Post, Kathy leads teams across multiple disciplines, including corporate communications, public relations, brand marketing, community impact and Washington Post live journalism events.
Prior to working at The Washington Post, Kathy was a senior global communications leader at Nike and leveraged the power of sport to shape a healthier planet, active communities, and an equal playing field for all. Her work spanned across Nike’s employee communications efforts for a 73K workforce, the establishment of a publishing function for Nike storytelling and later led purpose and advocacy initiatives for the company including civic engagement and communications for Nike’s eight employee resource groups. She also led communications and engagement for the Nike N7 collection which brings visibility to and representation of Native people and co-chaired Nike’s Native American Network.
Before Nike, Kathy was the Managing Director and Head of Ogilvy’s Washington, DC office where she oversaw a cross-functional integrated business and profit center. Clients included The Washington Post, Smithsonian Institution, BP, Mozilla, Twitter, and Five Guys among others. While at Fleishman Hillard, she led the Integrated Marketing team, served as one of the agency’s leading digital voices during her tenure and led some of the agency’s largest global accounts including Visa, Inc., the Abu Dhabi Government (Tourism) and others. She served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University for ten years in their Masters in Corporate Communications and Public Relations school where she taught Digital Communications, Integrated Marketing and Leadership courses.
Kathy is Sicangu Lakota, an enrolled citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and is also a descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. She serves on the advisory board of IllumiNative, a non-profit working to increase the visibility of Native Nations and peoples in American society. She also serves on the board of the American Indian College Fund, and Rare, the leading behavior-change organization in the conservation world.
Kathy is a recipient of the ColorComm Circle Award, the only award of its kind recognizing women of color who are changing the face of the communications/PR industry. She was also a nominee for the Washington Women in Public Relations’ Woman of the Year award.
In 2014, Kathy co-founded The Unified Scene Theater, an improv comedy theater that brought classes and workshops to students and businesses in DC and across the U.S. In her spare time, she enjoys running, sport, Lakota-style beadwork, writing, and improv comedy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The George Washington University, her MBA from Georgetown University and studied theater at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.