Joan Bryna Michelson, MBA is a highly accomplished business leader and award-winning strategic social impact and ESG – environment, social, governance – leader, who drove breakthrough results at Chrysler (in EVs), American Express and Deloitte, small businesses, and government agencies. She is an instructor on ESG issues, particularly in marketing communications, including in e-Mission’s ESG creative. multimedia courses, and to board members through Competent Boards programs. Her specialties include leveraging ESG solutions and partnerships strategically for maximum benefit, helping organizations recruit innovative, diverse women, and helping these women thrive in their careers. She is based in the Washington D.C. area.
Joan is also an accomplished journalist who has worked with top media organizations and hosts and produces the acclaimed Electric Ladies podcast (formerly known as Green Connections Radio), about innovation and leadership in ESG-related issues, including energy, climate and sustainability, featuring women experts. USA Today chose her show as one of the top six podcasts for business travelers for her 370+ engaging and informative interviews. She writes regularly for Forbes on these issues and has also written about them in Harvard Business Review, HuffPost, TheAtlantic.com, Greenbiz, and The New Economy magazine (distributed at the World Economic Forum), 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-ESG issues and in marketing 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 accelerated the adoption of electric vehicles, including working with federal, state and local government officials. Prior to GEM, she led marketing communications efforts to high-net-worth and high-visibility clients in management consulting-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; Micronic Technologies, e-Mission (ESG edtech), and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, among others.
Former President Bill Clinton
Jack Canfield, Co-author, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” & Master Trainer
Soledad O’Brien, Acclaimed Broadcast Journalist (MSNBC, CNN)
Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycafé
Deborah Rutter, President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
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), Events with the UN’s COP26, GLG, 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, Global Council for Science and the Environment, National Association of Women Business Owners, Executive Women in Government, Women Impacting Public Policy, MOVE Mobility Re-Imagined conferences, and various other professional conferences, events, chambers of commerce, corporate and university. She is an International Speaker with the U.S. State Department and in various speakers’ bureaus.
David Gergen, Advisor to four presidents & Director of the Harvard University Center for Public Leadership
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: Society of Professional Journalists (DC), 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 the new economy.
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 clean-green 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 leadership and management programs, 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 played a pivotal role the securing women the right to vote, and was a best-selling fiction
author whose work is considered source material for “Wonder Woman” comics.
Keep up with the energy-climate-sustainability industry and get great career tips by signing up for our newsletter here!