Gary F. Grates, President/Global Managing Director, Edelman Change and Employee Engagement
Gary F. Grates is President/Global Managing Director of Edelman Change and Employee Engagement, the organizational communications counseling practice of Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations/communications counseling firm and the third largest overall.
He has more than 25 years of corporate, marketing/brand, labor, and strategic communications experience with a particular expertise in change management/employee (internal) communications. Grates has counseled more than one hundred organizations including PepsiCo, Starbucks, Guardian, General Motors, Volvo, Nissan, Caterpillar, Shell, Visa International, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, British Airways, ITT, GE Healthcare, eBay, and Dell, to name a few.
Prior to joining Edelman, he served as Vice President-Corporate Communications/North America at the General Motors Corporation. In this role, Grates was responsible for brand, product, media, internal, financial and public policy communications for GM’s North America Region, the largest in the company. He was also the global process leader for internal communications reporting to Chairman/CEO, G. Richard Wagoner, and a member of General Motors' North American Strategy Board, the senior most governing body in North America. In addition, he was on the teaching staff at General Motors University (GMU) and selected to join the company’s exclusive Senior Executive Program - a leadership development program.
Before General Motors, Grates was President of GCI BoxenbaumGrates, a noted strategic communications consultancy specializing in change management/internal communications and corporate positioning, and Executive Vice President and Managing Director of GCI Consulting, a unit of GCI Group Public Relations.
Grates has developed a number of innovative processes and techniques to better align business strategy to employee behavior including Strategic Roadmap, Situation Room and DNA of Messaging. A frequent lecturer and author on issues facing corporate management and communications professionals, Grates has been referred to as the “thought leader” in change management communications and effective employee-management relations. He has published more than 100 articles/white papers on the strategic importance of communications in achieving business excellence. He speaks at industry conferences and corporate meetings around the world.
He is an adjunct professor at Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, a visiting professor for ABERJE, the Brazilian Public Relations Association, a trustee of Utica College of Syracuse University, and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, PRSA, IABC, National Corporate Directors Association (NACD), and the Institute for PR Research (IPR).