Shaila Manyam is a Senior Vice-President and leads international public affairs at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). In her role, she advises clients ranging from global organizations to national governments/world leaders and foreign companies on strategic communications, political risk mitigation, trade and tariff issues including CFIUS and FIRRMA, reputation management, crisis communications and thought leadership/stakeholder strategy. She joined BCW’s Washington, D.C. office following a 12-year career as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State focusing on Haiti, the Middle East (including Iraq, Syria and regional counterterrorism), Washington, D.C. and the United Nations.
The recipient of multiple awards for service, including five Superior Honor Awards from the State Department, Shaila served as a spokesperson on behalf of U.S. embassies and missions and the President’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has advised Cabinet-level national security officials, journalists and Members of Congress on Middle East bilateral and regional security and political strategy, economic policy, multilateral diplomacy, public diplomacy and media, refugees and migration issues. She has also represented the United States at UNESCO for communications, press freedom and technology issues, served as the Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Political Affairs on International Organizations/UN issues, and was deployed to Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, receiving recognition from the Smithsonian Institution for her work supporting post-disaster cultural heritage recovery. Prior to joining the State Department, Shaila was a Partner and Global Communications Director at Ogilvy, focusing on strategic communications, youth marketing and interactive media.
Shaila was born in Canada and grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. She graduated from Smith College with honors, double-majoring in Economics and Government, and received a Masters’ of Science from the London School of Economics. Shaila speaks six languages, including French, Arabic and Spanish. She is a member of the Global Leadership Council at the Meridian International Center.