Richard Edelman is the chief executive officer of the global communications firm Edelman, founded in 1952 by his father, which was named to Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List and honored as “PR Agency of the Decade” by both Advertising Age and The Holmes Report. Edelman — the company — is home to the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey of trust and credibility of the world’s four major institutions: government, business, media and NGOs.
Created in 2000 by Edelman himself, the annual survey is one of the longest-running pieces of intellectual property and is often cited when discussing the topic of trust, and Edelman has become one of the foremost authorities on trust in business, government, media and NGOs. He opens the Chautauqua Lecture Series week on “Trust, Society and Democracy” by sharing his company’s work in studying how trust is won, violated and lost, and how Americans can work toward a new trust compact between institutions and the people they serve.
Edelman has extensive experience in marketing and reputation management, having led assignments with major corporations, NGOs and family businesses. He has advised senior executives through significant disruptions within their organizations, including Samsung and United Airlines, and has counseled countries in every region of the world on economic development programs.
In 2020, Edelman was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Fame. In 2019, he was named the PR Agency Professional of the Past 20 Years by PRWeek and was inducted into the publication’s Hall of Fame; in 2014, he was inducted in the Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame. He earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College.
This program is made possible by Susie and Rick Rieser in memory of their son, Nicholas A. Rieser.