Our team

Brian Bartlett

Partner
Brian has nearly two decades of experience leading public and corporate affairs.

He is a trusted counselor to C-suite leaders across a variety of industries, supporting them in protecting and creating business opportunities.

He is a trusted counselor to C-suite leaders across a variety of industries, supporting them in protecting and creating business opportunities.

Brian is a senior communications strategist whose experience stretches across the highest levels of business, government and politics. He advises clients on all manner of public affairs issues, creating and leading campaigns designed to influence policy decision making and to shape opinions about issues of public concern. He is also a trusted crisis counselor, advising companies on preserving and enhancing their reputations, communicating around sensitive litigation matters, and navigating other special situations.

Brian’s experience includes positions with multiple political campaigns, including both of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, Scott Brown’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign and Bob McDonnell’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign. Brian has also held several public service positions, having served in The White House for both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, in the U.S. Senate for Senator Scott Brown, and in the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine Chao.

Prior to his time at Kekst CNC, Brian was Managing Director, Co-Founder, and Global Corporate Affairs Practice Chair at Rational 360. He also previously worked in the corporate and public affairs practice at Ketchum. An Illinois native, Brian is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, received his Master of Public Policy degree at Georgetown University, and his Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs degree with honors from Indiana University.


Experience

Public Affairs

  • Led public affairs communications surrounding the FDA approval for a high-profile pharmaceutical product, as well as subsequent coverage decisions by government and private payers.
  • Supported communications for a leading financial services company under congressional scrutiny around consumer protections against fraud and scams.
  • Represented a healthcare company during a proposed international merger that received high-profile government and media scrutiny centered on potential tax implications.
  • Designed multiple campaigns to shape public conversation on legislative proposals—including the Inflation Reduction Act—among policymakers and other key stakeholders outside of Washington.
  • Advised a financial services company during a public policy debate around government guarantees for bondholders.
  • Counseled a government contractor under regulatory and congressional investigation surrounding its performance on healthcare contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Conducted public affairs scenario planning for a potential CIFIUS review of a proposed international corporate acquisition.
  • Advised a global consumer food processing company during a congressional probe and local, state, federal and international regulatory investigations around workforce safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Led the communications process around the nomination, Senate hearing, and ultimate confirmation of a senior executive branch political appointee
  • Designed and executed a comprehensive public education campaign to inform key policymakers and influencers about Native American sovereignty issues related to financial services.
  • Provided strategic counsel to a telecommunications company on policymaker, third-party, and media engagement strategies to support to adoption of a new policy standard that created significant new market opportunities for the client.
  • Advised a global commercial real estate company on strategies to mitigate public affairs concerns associated with a strategy shift that included potential high-profile facility closures.
  • Supported a B2B software company that was the subject of investigative media coverage around the impacts of its products on consumers, which generated investigations from federal regulators and Congress.  
  • Advised a leading trade association representing global businesses amidst conservative scrutiny around perceived ESG and related policy positions.  


Crisis & Litigation Communications

  • Led communications for a major chemicals company involved in multi-jurisdictional class action commercial litigation around potential health impacts.
  • Supported public communications during litigation among multiple insurers and hospital systems over contract disputes that had widespread impacts on consumer health options.
  • Represented a global consumer products company in multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation pursued under the public nuisance doctrine.
  • Supported a financial services company that became the subject of an investigative story by a leading national media outlet about its consumer protection practices.
  • Managed communications around a high-profile federal criminal prosecution against a senior executive related to engagement designed to influence a public policy issue.
  • Counseled C-suite leaders of a technology company during national media reporting—and subsequent congressional and regulatory scrutiny—of its consumer privacy and data-sharing practices.
  • Led media relations for multiple Native American tribal-owned economic development corporations around lawsuits in state and federal courts.
  • Represented a high-profile national trade organization that received widespread media attention and criticism from conservative policymakers and political activists around its positions related to education policy.


Reputation Management

  • Led corporate reputation campaign planning and execution for a leading national healthcare company, with a focus on national and local CSR initiatives.
  • Managed the personal reputation of a high-profile technology executive who came under attack for expressing personal beliefs.
  • Represented a government homeland security contractor that was the subject of an investigative media story around its safety protocols and vetting practices for trainees from overseas.
  • Designed and led thought leadership positioning campaigns for multiple clients to elevate individual executives as well as corporate brands around priority issue areas.
  • Managed the development, creation, and public promotion of CSR and ESG annual reports and other communications collateral materials for multiple clients.


Corporate Communications

  • Advised a high-profile technology company on its communications before, during and after its public stock listing through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • Led internal and external communications support for multiple companies surrounding the renegotiation of union contracts, including during periods of labor strikes.
  • Counseled a healthcare company on strategies to expand its commercial markets by creating public pressure for government and private health insurers to cover its products.
  • Led a campaign for a defense contractor to promote its capabilities to key decisionmakers during a competitive proposal process.
  • Drafted earnings scripts and Q&A, investor presentations, and other key financial communications for multiple publicly traded clients.

Insights

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Blog

Report: Social Media Audiences for Freshman Members of Congress

To take a closer look at the potential reach of freshman members of Congress on social media, Kekst CNC analyzed their presence across major platforms, measuring their social media follower counts and ranking them amongst their peers.

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News

2024 Combined Congressional Calendar

Download the 2024 calendar for both chambers of Congress here.

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Blog

Margins Matter in Politics, Too. Why a Narrow GOP Majority Would Hurt Business

Without a broad margin, the presumed House Speaker-in-Waiting Kevin McCarthy could, at any moment, find himself at the mercy of any faction of his caucus that wants to make demands about any issue it chooses.

Contact Information

New York

New York (Headquarters)

1675 Broadway, 30th Floor

New York, NY 10019

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

1515 N. Courthouse Rd.

Arlington, VA 22201