Based in Washington D.C., Joan Bryna Michelson, MBA is a highly accomplished business leader and awardwinning strategic communications and social impact leader, who drove breakthrough results at Chrysler (in EVs), American Express and Deloitte, small businesses, and government agencies. Her specialties include helping climate, infrastructure and energy-related organizations recruit innovative diverse talent, including women.
Joan is also an accomplished journalist who has worked with top media organizations and hostsand produces the acclaimed podcast, Green Connections Radio, about innovation and leadership in energy, climate and infrastructure-related organizations, featuring women. USA Today chose her show as one of the top six podcasts for business travelers for her ~300 engaging and informative interviews. She writes regularly for Forbes on these issues and has also written about them in HuffPost, TheAtlantic.com, Greenbiz, and The New Economy magazine (distributed at Davos), regional business journal columns; and various other media. She coproduced segments with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” ABC News, and “The Crusaders,” and television specials on NBC.
Joan has spent her career working in energy-sustainability-climate issues and in communications, including as head of communications and co-leader of the sales and marketing team of Chrysler’s Global Electric Motorcars (GEM). At GEM, she drove “best year ever” growth and significantly increased adoption of electric vehicles, including working with federal, state and local government officials. She also led marketing communications efforts to high-net-worth and high-visibility clients in management-financial services companies Deloitte and American Express. Her creative thought leadership content, initiatives, and partnerships generated millions in revenue and branding across sectors and created new cottage industries. Her consulting clients have ranged across sectors, such as: the U.S. Department of Energy; the Clean Energy Alliance; Earth Day Network; digital marketing firm Constellation Agency; Global Environment Fund; Summery (social impact A.I.), Northbridge Energy Partners, environmental consulting firm Marstel-Day; TechVision21 government advisory firm; and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, among others.
Massimiliano Pogliani, illy CEO
Deborah Rutter, Kennedy Center President
A dynamic public speaker, Joan has addressed many events and conferences, including at: The Newseum, SXSW (Eco), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (U.S. Defense Department), National Institutes of Health, U.S. Naval Academy, 92nd Street Y, Lincoln Center, Corporate Responsibility Association, Clean Tech Open (Southeast), Small Business Administration, Greenbiz VERGE, National Council for Science and the Environment, National Association of Women Business Owners, Executive Women in Government, Women Impacting Public Policy, Maryland Water Monitoring Council conference, and various chambers of commerce, corporate and university. She is an International Speaker with the U.S. State Department and in various speakers’ bureaus
Joan was nominated for a White House Champion of Change Award by the Obama Energy Department and was a C3E Award finalist for women in global energy. She has also garnered awards from the: Broadcasters Association, International Association of Business Communicators, American Marketing Association, and the Public Relations Society of America. She wrote the foreword to a non-fiction book about one of the most prominent reporters of the women’s suffrage movement (The Superwoman and Other Writings by Miriam Michelson, Wayne State University Press, 2019), and penned excerpts for books on innovation (FlatWorld Navigation, Kogan Press, 2015), and on women in government leadership (If Women Ruled the World, Inner Ocean Publishing, 2005). She is writing her own book on women and careers.
She has been an Adjunct Professor in the Communications and Journalism Department of Columbia Union College in Maryland, a judge for the 2018 Online News Association Awards, a member of various National Press Club committees, and is actively involved in the community, focused on innovation, the press, a cleangreen economy, and women’s advancement.
Joan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of California Los Angeles, a Master of Business Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York in the executive program, and has done various post-graduate studies, including at Harvard Business School, New School University and The Aspen Institute.
Valerie Jarrett, Obama Senior Advisor
As an interesting aside: Joan is a descendant of three prominent siblings: Albert A. Michelson was the first scientist from the U.S. to win the Nobel Prize (physics, 1907); Charles Michelson was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House Communications Director/Press Secretary; and Miriam Michelson was a prominent national reporter who kept the women’s suffrage movement in the headlines and was a best-selling fiction author whose work is considered source material for “Wonder Woman” comics.