Kimberly Spell is a communications professional, storyteller and trusted adviser who has served at the highest level of U.S. presidential politics. She is a crisis and reputation management specialist who possesses a wide-ranging understanding of domestic and foreign policy issues, has strong relationships with journalists across the country, and is a pivotal member of New York City’s marketing and communications industry.
Prior to opening her own practice, Kimberly served for ten years as the Chief Communications Officer for New York City’s marketing and tourism arm, NYC & Company. There, working closely with the Mike Bloomberg Administration, she was the architect of a public affairs and press strategy for the City’s reputation that included 18 press offices around the world which Kimberly led along with a team of ten professionals in NYC headquarters. In addition, to maintaining a 24/7 watch on NYC’s reputation as a destination, she led the communications strategy for publicizing iconic locations, big events, global advertising, marketing programs and creating new communications-driven vehicles to increase visitation to historic highs for the five boroughs of NYC.
Kimberly also served as Executive Vice President at the Partnership for New York City, the nonprofit representing businesses throughout New York. She oversaw all communications, content, marketing and small business initiatives. Kimberly was a spokesperson on behalf of New York’s top employers on complex policy issues while executing strategic communications campaigns for the Partnership’s Fund’s programs; including FinTech, NY Fashion Tech and the NY Health Accelerator.
Before her City government and nonprofit experience, Kimberly moved to New York City from Washington, D.C. and opened her own Manhattan-based strategic communications firm with a specific focus on the environment, healthcare and the arts in the post-9/11 business climate. Clients ranged from law firms to environmental organizations including: Patton Boggs, Edelman Public Relations and Riverkeeper.
Additionally, Kimberly worked at the highest levels of American government and politics. Her experience includes: Assistant Press Secretary for Governor Jim Hunt, Press Secretary for U.S. Representative David Price and Communications Director for John Edwards and his successful race for the U.S. Senate. Kimberly has served as a senior advisor and spokeswoman for three US Presidential candidates. She was New Hampshire Press Secretary for Senator John Kerry, National Press Secretary and Senior Advisor to General Wesley Clark for President and Kimberly served as Deputy Communications Director for Vice President Al Gore’s bid in 2000, the closest election in U.S. history.
For Vice President Gore’s campaign, Kimberly was a national on-the-record spokesperson for the Vice President during his presidential campaign, on-site during both the DNC and RNC conventions and the U.S. Presidential debates. She built relationships with the leading national and international political reporters, editors and producers. She developed a highly successful rapid-response system to use with opponent’s traveling press corps that became so effective that the opponent replicated the strategy. Kimberly also expanded message and audience reach through non-traditional vehicles including late night shows like Saturday Night Live.
In addition to her political crisis experience, Kimberly also oversaw all communications for a $3 billion publicly-traded healthcare company with 55,000 employees and 500 nursing homes and hospitals nationwide – Mariner Post Acute Network. Kimberly served as Vice President of Corporate Communications and was focused on crisis responses to lawsuit-generated media inquiries, and was integral to the team who passed legislation through Congress to increase industry funding and change the landscape.
Kimberly worked her way through college with a series of journalism jobs teaching her the art and science of reporting and broadcasting. Kimberly's career began in local journalism at 16 as a newspaper reporter. Later, she taught herself the basics of radio operations and was hired as a radio news anchor and reporter for the leading FM station and later worked her senior college year as a television assignment editor for the ABC affiliate in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. She also interned for NC's Governor Jim Hunt in his press office during this period.
She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC with a BA in Communications and Political Studies. Kimberly also attended American University in Washington, DC and studied Journalism and interned at Nightline with Ted Koppel.
Kimberly works on projects with partners based in Washington, DC, New York City and California and engages with clients across the country who have public relations or reputational issues. After 15 years in Manhattan, Kimberly now lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and daughter.
Kimberly Spell, Principal
Photos by Julienne Schaer
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