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Government Communication in an Age of Disinformation

presented by the PRSA-NCC Public Affairs and Government Committee
January 24, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:00am

8:30-9:00am - Networking and registration
9:00-10:00am - Program & Q&A

How do you build trust in the digital world where technology is fast and often impulsive?  How do you combat “fake news” and build trust and confidence with the American public? What are the ethical dilemmas faced by government communicators and how can they best be resolved?

This panel of experienced government communicators from the Department of Defense and the federal government aim to answer these questions and begin the conversations our profession needs to have amidst an information environment that proves increasingly difficult for the public to navigate as trusted sources of information, or confidence in those sources, wanes.

The panel, hosted by PRSA’s Public Affairs and Government Committee in partnership with National Association of Government Communicators, will provide insights, principles of ethical government communication and key strategies for all communicators and specifically for those in government communications.


  • Chris O'Neil, president of the National Association of Government Communicators;
  • Glenn Holloway, public affairs officer at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency;
  • Anne Rancourt, M.P.S., Communication Section Chief, National Institutes of Health.

Moderator: Megan Kindelan, Director of Public Affairsat the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor

GWU Science and Engineering Hall
800 22nd Street, NW, Room B1220
Washington, DC 20052
Metro: Foggy Bottom/GWU

Cost: (includes continental breakfast)
$20 PRSA, WWPR, NAGC members and military personnel
$25 Non-members
Free for GWU Students (use discount GWUStudent when registering)
$10 other students from area schools

If you are a furloughed government employee, you can attend the event for free using the code furlough at checkout.

$30 at the door, cash only

Refund/cancellaton policy

Bios of the Panelists:

Chris O’Neil is president of the National Association of Government Communicators, a professional organization dedicated to advocating, promoting and recognizing excellence in government communication. Chris has more than 30 years of government communication experience gained through collateral duty and full-time public affairs assignments including Chief of Media Relations for the U.S. Coast Guard, Chief of Strategic Communication for the U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Public Affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and in his current position as Chief of Media Relations for the National Transportation Safety Board. O’Neil graduated with distinction from Boston University’s College of Communication in 2005, earning a Master’s in Public Relations. In the same year he graduated with honors from the Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course at Defense Information School, Fort Meade, Maryland. O’Neil completed his undergraduate studies in 2000 through Charter Oak State College, New Britain, Conn., earning a Bachelor of Science (with honors) in Communication. He also holds an Associate’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Phoenix.

Glenn Holloway is a public affairs officer with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Prior to NGA, he taught public affairs and journalism at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Maryland. He is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and has a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University, a Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College and an Associate of Arts degree from Campbell University. He is also a graduate of the Military Photojournalism Program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Anne Rancourt, M.P.S, oversees media affairs on HIV research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. NIH is the largest funder of HIV research worldwide, and in her role Anne manages strategic communications efforts on HIV and other health issues in the United States and abroad. Anne was previously the communications director for the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, leading a campaign to raise awareness among researchers about the need to study both sexes in scientific research. She also worked at the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute where she directed media and digital strategy for The Heart Truth campaign to prevent heart disease in women. Anne began her federal career at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of the Secretary. She previously was a journalist at The Washington Post and NBC News. Anne holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.P.S. in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University.