Associate Vice President of Public Affairs - Robbie Graham
Roberta Graham is the former executive vice president of Alaska Publishing LLC, the parent company of the Alaska Dispatch News. Graham assisted with transition after the Alaska Dispatch purchased the Anchorage Daily News in May 2014, and was responsible for establishing revenue development frameworks for the state’s leading news organization. Graham supervised a staff of 50 and an $18 million annual revenue goal.
Graham most recently served as Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. In her role, she supervised two divisions [Economic Development and Community and Regional Affairs]. Additionally, she handled public policy issues ranging from international trade to the marketing of Alaska as a domestic tourism destination to issues involving arctic development, and she serves as the department’s representative to the Statewide Broadband Task Force, the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. As Deputy Commissioner, she was involved in the day-to-day management of the public affairs and public relations for the Commissioner’s Office, and was on the Commissioner’s team, which developed legislative initiatives, communication strategies and all strategic initiatives targeted at economic development.
In 2009, Graham served as the special assistant for public affairs in the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects [OFC] in Washington, D.C. She handled day-to-day public affairs on energy issues for the Federal Coordinator including the development of communication strategies, plans, speech writing and industry outreach efforts.
Graham has been an adjunct faculty member at Alaska Pacific University, and until recently she served on the APU Board of Trustees, and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North specializing in Arctic public diplomacy and strategic communications issues. She also assisted in the coordination and development of strategic programs at the Edward R. Murrow Center for Public Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy / Tufts University. In that capacity, she was a co-founder of the Warming Arctic Symposium, now held annually at The Fletcher School. She also served on the Board of Advisors of the Public Diplomacy Collaborative at Harvard University
Prior to her tenure in public service, Graham was the CEO of the public relations and public policy firm of Bernholz & Graham, Inc. with offices in Anchorage, Alaska and New York City. As agency CEO, she was the lead strategist in designing and implementing campaigns for the agency’s myriad clients. She managed multi-million dollar budgets, the reputations of corporations and corporate executives, high profile events and was successful in building coalitions and grassroots communication efforts.
She also has worked with luxury global travel companies, Alaska Native corporations, energy and telecommunications firms, and has been the strategic force behind Alaska’s most notable event including the Iditarider Program for the Iditarod Trail Committee, which now brings in more than $100,000 annually to the world renown race.
Prior to her career in public relations she was a journalist and freelance writer for TIME magazine, Golf for Women, Alaska Airlines Magazine and Coastal Living Magazine. She is a published author and has presented to business groups and academic gatherings including to the International Communications Association in on the subject of the public diplomacy of globalization.
Graham holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and an interdisciplinary minor in U.S. – Canadian Relations from Michigan State University, East Lansing, as well as a Master Degree in International Relations, with an emphasis on public diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.