Preparing for the Challenges Ahead: A Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion, Careers in SPR, and Trust and Reputation Management.
Charlene Wheeless is a renowned communications and corporate affairs pro, author, motivational speaker, and executive advisor with over three decades of experience in business, corporate affairs, and communications. In 2020, after a four-year health crisis, Charlene retired from Bechtel Corporation. She served as the principal vice president of global corporate affairs, responsible for internal and external communications, issues management, crisis communications, marketing communications, Sustainability, and CSR. She also served on the Board of the Bechtel Foundation and the Bechtel Political Action Committee.
Today, she leads her namesake firm, Charlene Wheeless LLC, and serves as the senior advisor for equity and justice at APCO Worldwide, a global advocacy and communications consultancy.
An important voice in shaping the future of the communications profession, Wheeless is the chairman of the board of trustees for the Page Society, the world’s leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives.
In May, her debut book, “You are Enough! Reclaiming your Career and Your Life with Purpose, Passion and Unapologetic Authenticity,” was released by Amplify Publishing and quickly became a best-seller on Amazon. The book chronicles her experience as a Black female executive, her courageous fight with cancer, and takes readers on a journey of reclaiming your life.
Wheeless has received numerous awards for communications and leadership excellence throughout her career, including the PR Week Global Power Book for most influential professionals in Public Relations and The Network Journal’s Most Influential Black Women in Business. She has also been featured in several business and lifestyle publications.
Wheeless holds a BA in Journalism/PR, an MA in Public Communication, and an MBA in Marketing. She resides in the Washington, DC Metro Area.