Chris Nelson


Senior Vice President & Partner Crisis Lead, Americas

Chris Nelson leads FleishmanHillard’s crisis management team in the Americas and helps corporate executive teams anticipate, prepare for and manage crisis situations, high-profile litigation and contentious public issues. In more than 20 years as a crisis management consultant, Nelson has guided clients through hundreds of high-profile crisis situations, including data breaches, product recalls, chemical spills, workplace violence, employee malfeasance, crises of investor confidence, corporate espionage and many others. He has assisted clients facing federal regulatory inquiries and enforcement actions, and he has created crisis plans and international training programs to improve his clients’ preparedness. Nelson has also designed issues management programs to help clients avoid flashpoints created by activist attacks on a wide range of issues, and he has counseled clients about their communications around complex litigation, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, workplace, and product liability. Before joining FleishmanHillard in 2012, Nelson headed Ketchum’s North American crisis preparedness, issues management, crisis response and litigation communications capabilities. His team served a broad range of Ketchum clients worldwide, including Roche, Nokia, Wyeth, State Street and FedEx. Before Ketchum, Nelson worked at Burson-Marsteller New York, providing crisis management, issues management, and public policy advice to clients such as Philip Morris and Kraft, Wyeth, Sears, Pfizer, Mead Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive. Earlier in his career, Nelson worked in the communications and public affairs department of The Ohio State University Medical Center and in the public relations department at Ashland Chemical. Nelson has contributed to many industry and professional publications and regularly speaks at industry conferences. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Public Affairs Council and has lectured on issues management and crisis management at the Wharton School, the University of Maryland Graduate School of Journalism and Ohio Northern University. He currently teaches a graduate course on crisis management at Columbia University. Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a cognate in economics from The Ohio State University.