Editor’s Note: BeHeardAustin.com will interview Chris Sorek about the challenges and changes he sees as the organizations new executive director at the International Conference being held in Chicago.
A global public affairs and communications professional with more than 25 years experience working for international organizations, multinationals, and agencies has been appointed the new executive director of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Christopher Sorek, the former CEO of Britian’s Drinkaware Trust, an independent UK alcohol awareness charity that provides consumers with information about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles, will assume the IABC leadership position on July 2nd.
Sorek received his undergraduate degree in International Relations from Michigan State University and his Master’s in International Communications from Wayne State University. He has worked on public information and humanitarian issues in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America after starting his career as a journalist and editor for newspapers and magazines in the United States.
Building and leading cross-cultural teams in developing results-oriented communications and advocacy strategies and plans are part of his communication strengths. He has a proven track record in handling global reputation and image development, social responsibility, government and community relations, issues management, corporate communications, brand re-positioning, executive thought leadership, and crisis management.
“The executive board and I are thrilled to announce the appointment of Chris as IABC’s new executive director,” said Adrian Cropley, ABC, 2011–2012 chair of IABC. “Chris brings a wealth of experience from senior international roles within associations and the corporate world. With his background as a communication professional and his experience in strategically aligning and growing organizations, he is the right person for the job. Chris will work closely with the Executive Board as he drives our operations in delivering on our 2012–14 strategic plan.”
While CEO of Drinkaware, an organization funded by voluntary donations from the alcohol industry and works alongside the medical community, government and drinks manufacturers and retailers to achieve its goals, Sorek was responsible for:
- Leading and directing the strategic growth of the independent charity including developing mission, goals, objectives, KPIs and resources.
- Worked with health, police, and family-centered government agencies; medical professionals and leading private sector companies in changing the UK’s drinking culture.
- Structured organization to more effectively create and conduct campaigns by target audiences; created new research programmes to evidence-base plans; direct grants program; and manage stakeholder relations and resource development.
- Helping raise more than £15 million over three years and manage an annual budget of £5 million and 16 staff.
- Helping the organization be considered for the top consumer’s choice for information about alcohol in the UK.
- Being awarded best charity communications team and second place for best UK charity in 2010.
Sorek, a past member of IABC, has worked in internal communication and political action committee activities before moving to Unisys’s international public relations team. He joined Ogilvy & Mather in 1987, where he headed offices in Taiwan and Singapore and helped develop the agency’s Asia-Pacific network before leaving for Cohn & Wolfe in New York to lead and manage global corporate client.
In 2001, Sorek joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva as head of communications. He returned to the private sector to work for SAP AG in Germany, De Beers, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development before joining Drinkaware as chief executive in 2008.
“IABC is the perfect platform to help advance our profession and presents an exciting and unique opportunity for a life-long communicator,” says Sorek. “I look forward to working with the board and leading the development and delivery of content, services and support that members want and need to build their careers wherever they are in the world.”