Cari Guittard is a native of Dallas. She has a B.A. in political science and public administration as well as a Masters in public affairs and public administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. In 1998 she was selected for the Presidential Management Fellowship and began work as a computer-security specialist and spokesperson for cyber threats and critical infrastructure protection for the U.S. Department of State. During her tenure at State, Guittard spent extensive amounts of time working globally, primarily in the Middle East and Asia, managing portfolios that included Public Affairs & Public Diplomacy, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Political Military Affairs, Diplomatic Security, Counter-terrorism and Information Resource Management.
In the summer of 2003, Guittard was hired by Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide, to develop and lead Business for Diplomatic Action, the only private-sector-led, apolitical nonprofit whose mission was to enlist the U.S. business community in public diplomacy and global engagement efforts. For eight years Guittard served as BDA’s Executive Director, guiding the activities of a global board and senior advisory council spearheaded by preeminent global communications, marketing, political science, research, and media professionals.
At the beginning of 2011, Guittard assumed a Global Affairs portfolio with Global Strategic Partners, a boutique intelligence, defense, and strategic communications firm. In this capacity Guittard continues her corporate diplomacy efforts and works on an extensive global portfolio of issues, including strategic communications, geopolitical strategy, public-private partnerships, and work with the military and intelligence community. Guittard also provides PR, public affairs, corporate diplomacy, and strategic communications support for a number of corporate and NGO clients on a freelance basis.
Additionally, Guittard serves in an adjunct faculty capacity for the University of Southern California Master of Public Diplomacy Program, spearheading the development and teaching courses in corporate diplomacy and geopolitical risk. She is a regular contributor to the Annenberg Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) Blog. Guittard also serves in an adjunct capacity for the University of San Francisco’s MBA program and the Hult International Business School, teaching global management, negotiation, and specialized seminars in corporate diplomacy. In 2007 Guittard was named by 7X7 San Francisco Magazine as one of their Hot 20 Under 40, an annual profile of emerging leaders in the Bay Area. Guittard is an active member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, Public Diplomacy Council, Commonwealth Club of California, and the World Affairs Council of Northern California. Guittard and her husband reside in the Bay Area.