Batten Institute

Barie Carmichael



Bio: Barie Carmichael has more than 25 years of experience in corporate communications. A Senior Counselor with APCO Worldwide (a widely recognized global public affairs consultancy), she provides executive-level counsel on critical communications such as reputation management, issue management and crisis and litigation communications. An experienced board-level adviser and veteran of numerous corporate executive-management committees, Ms. Carmichael also counsels clients on managing their brands and reputations and structuring their organizational communications during crises.

Ms. Carmichael served for 12 years as Dow Corning’s vice president and chief communications officer. During this time, she helped guide the company through the complex communications issues surrounding silicone breast implants, devising the turn-around strategy that obtained positive, sustained page-one coverage in the New York Times, numerous favorable Wall Street Journal editorials, supportive editorials in all major national and regional newspapers, and supportive features on 60 Minutes, the BBC, and PBS Frontline. During her tenure at Dow Corning, she built an award-winning staff that repositioned the company’s global brand while managing communications involving Chapter 11, layoffs, restructuring, and regulatory issues. As a result of her leadership in global employee communications, Dow Corning was awarded more than five Gold Quills by the International Association of Business Communicators.

In addition to her work at Dow Corning, Ms. Carmichael was most recently a Partner with The Brunswick Group (an international consultancy headquartered in London) and served as Visa U.S.A.’s executive vice president of corporate relations, integrating Visa’s public relations with its business and brand strategies while facing serious competitive and litigation challenges. Prior to joining Dow Corning, she was the director of corporate communications for an NCR subsidiary. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Ms. Carmichael graduated with honors from Carleton College and holds a master’s degree in English.

Expertise: Inherent Negatives as a Basis for Strategic Innovation


Fellowship Focus: During her Batten Fellowship, Ms. Carmichael and her faculty hosts will pursue research on “inherent negatives,” the elements inherent in a company’s business model that have the potential for negative impact on stakeholders. Every business has specific inherent negatives. Unaddressed, they pose a risk to the enterprise. Strategically managed, they can point the way to new opportunities: changes in behavior, product and service innovations, and new ways of interacting with stakeholders. This research will address the risks exposed in steps in the value chain in specific competitive contexts. A given inherent negative is amplified through perception differentiated by the particularity of a company’s relationship to stakeholders. Just as certain kinds of risks are inherent, the transformations in behavior and product innovation offsetting these risks will be inherently contextualized and differentiated.

Contact Info

Appointment: 2005 

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