Porter Novelli, a public relations firm that started in Washington, DC, 40 years ago and has grown to an international firm with 90 offices in 60 countries, will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Oct. 30 with an open house at the agency’s DC office. Kiki McLean, who heads the firm’s DC office, contacted “friends and former colleagues”, asking them to come to the open house to “see old friends and meet new ones as we gather together alumni and staff. It will be a time of cheer, good eats and great memories. Bill Novelli will be our very special guest, as well as Michael Ramah, acting CEO.”
According to Wikipedia, Porter Novelli was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1972 by Novelli and Jack Porter, advertising executives who worked together to market the Peace Corps. According to the company's official history, their goal was to help nonprofit organizations and civic causes by using the same creative marketing approaches traditionally used by the commercial sector. The company's first major client was the National Institutes of Health, for whom they created the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, a program that the NIH still maintains
Novelli now is a professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He teaches in the MBA program and has created and leads the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at the School. He also is co-chair of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), a national organization dedicated to reforming advanced illness care by empowering consumers, changing the health care delivery system, improving public policies and enhancing provider capacity. From 2001 to 2009, he was CEO of AARP, a membership organization of over 40 million people 50 and older. During his tenure, AARP achieved important policy successes at national and state levels in health, financial security, good government and other areas. It also doubled its budget, added five million new members and expanded internationally.
Prior to AARP, Novelli was president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, whose mandate is to change public policies and the social environment, limit tobacco companies’ marketing and sales practices to children and serve as a counterforce to the tobacco industry and its special interests. He now serves as chairman of the board.
In addition, he was executive vice president of CARE, the world’s largest private relief and development organization. He was responsible for all operations in the U.S. and abroad. CARE helps impoverished people in Africa, Asia and Latin America through programs in health, agriculture, environmental protection and small business support. CARE also provides emergency relief to people in need.