Tal Woliner joined AAAS as its Chief Communications Officer in August 2021.
Tal has more than 15 years of experience in media relations, public affairs, and corporate and crisis communications, spanning industries including technology and telecommunications, food and agriculture, health care, transportation, energy, and financial services. Much of her work has been at the intersection of science and several of these sectors.
Immediately prior to joining AAAS, Tal was a senior vice president at Direct Impact/BCW, one of the nation’s leading grassroots firms, where she led a cross-agency team of 60 people managing corporate communications and public affairs campaigns in nearly 30 U.S. markets for Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure. The company joined the Fortune 500 in 2020. As part of that work, Tal co-led the strategy and launch of an initiative to address the growing health and safety concerns and opposition to 5G technology. She also provides counsel on crisis communications.
Tal joined Direct Impact from Story Partners, a boutique public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. While there, she led PR and advocacy campaigns for the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) to promote lifesaving medical technology. She placed patient and advocacy stories and op-eds in national and local publications for AdvaMed. She also worked with scientists, nutritionists, and other experts on behalf of FMC to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture continued to designate carrageenan, a food additive, as approved for use in organic food.
Beyond AdvaMed, she served as the account leader for several other trade associations including the Large Public Power Council, whose members include the CEOs of the 27 largest public power systems across the United States, the American Cable Association, and the National Apartment Association.
Prior to Story Partners, Tal worked at Ketchum, a top 5 global public relations firm, for more than a decade. During that tenure, she provided strategic counsel, media relations, public affairs and reputation management support to IBM, Nestlé, CropLife International’s GMO Answers program, and the auto parts industry’s Quality Parts Coalition, among others. For six years, she led the IBM D.C. team focused on policy and public sector communications, including message and op-ed development, media outreach, Capitol Hill events, salon dinners across sectors, and the @IBMpolicy Twitter handle launch.
For GMO Answers, she oversaw the media strategy to demonstrate the safety and benefits of GMOs as an agriculture process, working with hundreds of scientists, farmers, and researchers as media spokespeople. Part of that role included garnering media coverage at SXSW and managing the process to secure five expert posts per month for a Forbes blog she brokered for GMO Answers.
Tal graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and with minors in Business Administration and Philosophy from the University of Southern California. During her spare time, Tal serves as the chair of the USC Annenberg Alumni Advisory Board and as a member of the Board of Visitors for The Fund for American Studies’ Journalism and Communications Program.