Home / Publications & News / Newsroom / News

PRSA ICON 2021 Panel to Explore Building Trust in a Distrustful Age

Sep. 9, 2021

Keynote Panel Features Top Communications Executives from
Microsoft Corporation, Phillip Morris International and Pfizer Inc.

NEW YORK, September 9, 2021PRSA, the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, announced today a keynote panel to be held on October 11 at 1 p.m. ET as part of ICON 2021, taking place virtually October 4-20. Moderated by Linda Thomas Brooks, PRSA’s Chief Executive Officer, the panel of top communicators will explore the threats against corporate trust and spotlight solutions to help restore, build and protect company reputation.

Panelists include:

  • Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President, Communications, Microsoft Corporation
  • Aaron Sherinian, Vice President of Global Communications Transformation, Phillip Morris International
  • Sally Susman, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pfizer Inc.

“I’m thrilled to lead this extremely relevant conversation with some of our profession’s leading communicators,” said Thomas Brooks. “This particular topic is one that I wake up and think about every day – and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I look forward to hearing the panelists’ insights on what we can all do to continue as leaders in the battle to build trust.”

“A consequence of unprecedented levels of misinformation has been the erosion of public trust and confidence,” said Michelle Olson, APR, 2021 PRSA Chair. “This all-star panel of executives will offer unique perspective on how communicators can help thwart the threats facing our organizations in today’s complex information environment.”

Serving as Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft, Shaw oversees a team that defines and manages Microsoft’s communications strategies globally. This includes company-wide storytelling; product PR; consumer marketing; media relations; executive and employee communications; global agency management; and military affairs. During his more than 20-year career, Shaw has been responsible for leading diverse teams representing government, entertainment, food and retail. As a keynote speaker at PRSA’s International Conference in 2019 in San Diego, he discussed thriving in the next communications age.

As Vice President of Global Communications Transformation at Philip Morris International, Sherinian has found himself at the intersection of communications transformation for one of the largest corporations in the world, which is making the historic pivot to a smoke-free future. With more than two decades in the corporate, philanthropic and diplomatic sectors, his career has included experience spanning the globe and building bridges between political ideologies, geographies and industries.

In her role as Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer Inc., Susman leads engagement with all of Pfizer’s external stakeholders, overseeing global policy, communications, government relations, corporate responsibility, investor relations and the Chief Patient Office. She also serves as vice chair of The Pfizer Foundation. Prior to joining Pfizer Inc., she held several senior communications and government relations roles at Estée Lauder Companies and the American Express Company.

PRSA’s annual conference, ICON 2021, has shifted to a fully virtual event. Previously announced keynote speakers include Randi Zuckerberg, who will speak on October 7 at 1:35 p.m. ET, and award-winning journalist Yamiche Alcindor, who will speak on October 18 at 1:05 p.m. ET. For additional details and to register, visit the ICON 2021 website.

About PRSA
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community. PRSA is the principal advocate for industry excellence and ethical conduct and provides members lifelong learning opportunities and leading-edge resources to enhance professional connections and support them at every stage of their career. With nearly 30,000 members, PRSA is collectively represented by 110 Chapters and 14 Professional Interest Sections, and on nearly 375 college and university campuses through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). For more information, please visit www.prsa.org.

Photo key (left to right): Frank X. Shaw, Aaron Sherinian, Sally Susman

# # #

Media Contact:
Vinica Weiss
(212) 460-1479

ICON Trust Panel


Karen Mateo  
Chief Communications Officer
(212) 460-1454

Rod Granger  
Director, Content and Integrated Communications
(212) 460-0307

Vinica Weiss  

Communications Associate

(212) 460-1479