Judith H. Whittlesey
Judith H. Whittlesey, Executive Vice President, has decades of broad-based experience in strategic planning, media relations and spokesperson training, crisis communications strategies and management, institutional positioning for non-profit organizations and institutions, and the organization of issue, cause and political campaigns at the national, state and grassroots levels. Over the years, Ms. Whittlesey has developed the strategies and directed the teams that have launched some of our nation’s most recognized institutions.
Ms. Whittlesey has created and administered award-winning communications strategies requiring diverse expertise that have effectively guided clients including government entities, non-profit and professional groups, associations, and national and international corporations through periods of both great opportunities and great challenges. She has developed effective strategic campaigns and initiatives for entities seeking to position an existent or new institution; promote a cause or concept; or launch and manage a groundbreaking national public education campaigns.
She has led initiatives and campaigns on behalf of the firm’s health and wellness-related clients including Foundation Fighting Blindness; the National Campaign for Hearing Health; LUNGevity, the nation’s pre-eminent organization funding and raising awareness for lung cancer research; the Medstar Washington Hospital Center and the Freddie Mac Foundation’s annual Adoption Expo.
Ms. Whittlesey has led SDI’s teams that created positioning communications campaign and designed and managed the various groundbreakings, dedications and anniversaries for national landmarks including the Women in Military Service for American Memorial, the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the National Japanese American Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
In support of the nation’s military services, as well as military families, Ms. Whittlesey led SDI’s award-winning work for the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Freedom Awards for many years. She leads SDI’s team providing communications support and strategic planning for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s ground-breaking work on behalf of the nation’s military and veteran caregivers. And she leads the continuing work for the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation in support of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
With background in the arts and education, Ms. Whittlesey leads SDI’s communications initiatives and support for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, one of the U.S. government’s primary sources for support for libraries and museums across the nation. She has also led communications and events initiatives for the Phillips Collection and the Museum of Women in the Arts. On behalf of corporate clients, she has led SDI’s team in support of exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and in New York, the Metropolitan Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.
To meet the multi-faceted needs of firm clients, Ms. Whittlesey has assembled and overseen the work of strong teams of sub-contracting firms, the creation of award-winning materials to support program and project goals, partnership programs to further client objectives, and outreach strategies to carry client messages to broad and diverse audiences.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma English Literature, Psychology and Education, Ms. Whittlesey is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She was selected to Leadership Greater Washington, the National Capitol Public Relations Society of America Hall of Fame, and PR News inaugural selection of Top Women in PR.
She is President and long-serving member of the Board of Directors of the Food Research and Action Center, and a board member of Counterpart International. With a commitment to the greater Washington, DC community, Ms. Whittlesey previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of Decatur House, Suited for Change, the Levine School of Music, and Washington Project for the Arts.