2021 Keynote Presentations

The Vaccine Race: A Story of Collaboration & Communication | 28 June

When the high-stakes race to find an effective COVID-19 vaccine took hold in 2020, the biopharmaceutical industry quickly became the world’s greatest hope for beating a global pandemic. Sally Susman, Pfizer’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, and her team worked to rally colleagues, the industry and the world alike. As the pandemic turned everyone’s lives upside down, it also changed the pharmaceutical industry forever. The need for a compelling and smart communications strategy had never been more urgent. 

Sally will share her insider’s perspective on Pfizer’s response to the pandemic, and how she and her team decided to throw out conventional tactics and industry standards, and embrace bold ideas. She will reflect on how more than 30 years in the communications industry prepared her for one of the most inspiring moments in her career. From Pfizer’s “Science Will Win” campaign to the decision to eschew mainstream media and publish an open letter from Pfizer’s CEO on LinkedIn – hear how Pfizer’s communications team rose to the unprecedented challenge.

This session is sponsored by 

Sally Susman, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pfizer Inc.

As Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Sally 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.

Before joining Pfizer in 2007, Susman held several senior communications and government relations roles at Estée Lauder Companies and the American Express Company, including a posting in London with responsibility for all of Europe. Earlier in her career, she spent eight years on Capitol Hill focused on international trade issues and was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the Clinton Administration.

Currently, Susman serves as co-chair of The International Rescue Committee, one of the world's largest humanitarian aid organizations, and on the board of WPP, the U.K.-based global advertising and marketing company. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a frequent commentator in newspapers, magazines, podcasts and broadcast programs and was named a 2019 Top Voice on LinkedIn.

Susman graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in government and studied at the London School of Economics.

Giant Leaps Start Here: It’s About Time…to Explore! | 30 June

NASA’s Johnson Space Center has served as the iconic setting to some of humankind’s greatest achievements. For nearly 60 years, as part of NASA’s nationwide team, Johnson has led the world in human space exploration. By capitalizing on the latest social media features, newsworthy content and trending topics, the space agency aims to share its mission with the public in broader ways than ever before. But they also have an important stakeholder – their employees – whose work to leap to greater heights and new destinations makes them the leader in human space exploration.

Often, NASA employees are on the go — consuming what they want, when they want and on a multitude of platforms. The Johnson External Relations Office reimagined its internal communications products to serve a multi-generational workforce while being responsive to today’s technology platforms. This focuses resources on better serving the needs of the Johnson team with products that help employees and retirees lead the charge as the American space program’s most knowledgeable ambassadors. Plus, it’s a business best practice that will ensure Johnson operates as a well-informed center with a strong sense of community.

Join us for a keynote presentation from NASA Senior Communications Specialist Isidro Reyna as he takes us on a voyage inside the world of NASA communications. Learn how to organize a large-scale internal communications strategy, communicate in ways that are relevant to your employees, and use “everyone communication” as a tool for action!

3…2…1…it’s about time to take your communications to new heights!

Isidro Reyna, Senior Communications Specialist, NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Isidro Reyna, APR, joined NASA Johnson Space Center's External Relations Office as a senior communications specialist in 2015. In this role, he manages executive communications for the center and serves as the agency’s Gateway Program public affairs officer in Houston.

Prior to his employment with the space agency, Isidro worked as the deputy chief of public affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District, where he ensured the Public Affairs Office effectively communicated the district’s engineering mission strategically and transparently to a diverse group of internal and external audiences.

Isidro’s earned more than 50 communications awards during his career, including nine Silver Anvil Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and three Grand Excalibur Awards from the society's Houston Chapter.

Isidro earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts with a specialization in public relations from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2006 and became Accredited in Public Relations (APR) in 2011. He earned a Master of Arts in Communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of Houston's Valenti School of Communication in 2016.