Public Affairs Officer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ana Toro, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a bilingual and bicultural public relations leader, as well as an educator, mentor, writer and public speaker with over 25 years of experience. Throughout her career, she has developed programs and campaigns for the federal government, nonprofit organizations, Fortune 500 companies and other consumer brands including Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, BMW, Chrysler, Coors Brewing Company, Merck, Philip Morris International, Royal Caribbean, Shell and Volvo Car Corporation. Currently she serves as public affairs officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prior to joining the CDC, Toro was project director at ICF where she oversaw multiple federal contracts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. She also was a vice president at FleishmanHillard where she led FH Multicultural, a global practice. Toro moved from Puerto Rico to Georgia in 2002 and joined PRSA a few months later. During her first years in Atlanta, she served as director of public affairs at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and did consulting work as A. Toro Business Relations.
In her native Puerto Rico, she advocated for professionalism of the PR practice while leading national campaigns and crises, teaching at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, and chairing the Puerto Rico Public Relations Association, the youngest at the time. Before having her own practice on the island, Toro worked for Focus Business Communications as account director, Publics, at FCB Puerto Rico as account executive, and at the Ana G. Mendez University System as communications official. She began her career as a contributing writer for Puerto Rico’s oldest newspaper, El Mundo, and later supporting the Oscar-nominated film director, writer, producer and actor Jacobo Morales as press agent.
In the U.S., Toro has been a constant advocate for diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the profession at national, professional and student conferences, in the media and in her local PRSA Chapter. As chair of PRSA’s National D&I Committee in 2016 and 2017, she developed and implemented the national D&I strategy for PRSA, published PRSA’s first blog post in Spanish and was an active contributor to PRSA’s D&I Toolkit, Twitter chats and webinars. For PRSA, she conceived the D&I Checklist and proposed the D&I liaison role for all PRSA Chapters. Today she is still a member of the D&I Committee, serving as the Chapter Relations Chair.
Toro’s commitment to making public relations a more diverse and inclusive profession inspires her to volunteer at Real World PR, a collegiate conference in Atlanta where she mentors college students and volunteers in resume-critique sessions. She also is involved with DECA, an international student organization that promotes careers in business among high school students. Most recently, she was a judge of the Public Relations Project at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta. She’s also a mentor through PRSA College of Fellows.
Toro has earned numerous awards and recognitions from the industry, academia and her peers. She received a bachelor’s degree in media writing, summa cum laude, and a master’s degree in public relations from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Puerto Rico. She also holds a Certificate in Hispanic Marketing Communications from Florida State University.