DANIEL F. DiFONZO, JR.
* ****** *** *****; Rockville, Maryland 20853
Public/Media Relations professional with more than 25 years of demonstrated experience in international and domestic marketing/communications primarily within the healthcare, science, technology and non-profit markets. Creative, strategic communicator with excellent organizational, presentation and writing skills. Expert in media relations with demonstrated ability to initiate, develop and implement complex communications strategies to advance an organization’s strategic goals. Areas of expertise and experience include:
Strategic Planning and Analysis
Web Content Development
Mattson Media, Rockville, MD 2010 to present
INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT
Provide independent and freelance communications services for a variety of clientele in the technology, healthcare and communications arena. Emphasis on health communications, crisis planning and coordination, including expertise in media relations and strategic communications. Versatile and fluent in social media outreach, science writing, media training, relationship building, technical and web content writing and digital communications. Center for Tobacco Products, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 2012 to 2013 PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST, Office of Health Communications and Education Provided public and media relations expertise for the FDA’s newest Center, which is charged with implementing the Tobacco Control Act regulating the manufacture, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect public health and to reduce tobacco use by youth. Led the development, implementation, and management of public and media relations (PMR) programs, including: rollout planning; issues management and messaging; press document development and clearance approvals; and evaluation. Served as liaison with CTP Offices and the Office of Public Affairs for the FDA Commissioner. Developed and implemented standard operating procedures and management tools for the PMR team. Provided strategic guidance and developed public affairs communications—including press releases, key messages, FAQs, and public statements—for target audiences, including internal staff, trade/industry media, and stakeholders.
Co-lead on substantial equivalence rollout—historic first release of marketing orders allowing a tobacco product to be sold on the open-market. Instrumental in creating messaging and implementing and designing web resources on the issue.
Issue lead for Office of Compliance and Enforcement on key Center-led roll-outs
Represented organization at tobacco manufacturing facility visits
Tracked, measured and compiled media monitoring data on Center-led rollouts
Expert in plain language writing for a variety of scientific, technical and lay audiences Bank of America Home Loans, Washington, DC 2006 to 2010 MORTGAGE RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
Established communications, marketing and sales initiatives that included identifying, qualifying, cultivating and growing relationships with individuals, real estate agents, banking centers and regional businesses. Developed strategic business and communications strategy to grow market share. Forest Trends, Washington, DC 2005 to 2006
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Conceived, established and built the communications office for an international, non-profit forestry-based conservation organization that works to expand the value of forests to society. Directed, managed, designed and implemented public relations strategies, including messaging, outreach, and internal and external communications for each of the organization’s vertical programs; represented organization as primary spokesperson and liaison with members of the domestic and international media and trade press; collaborated and maintained partnerships with multi-lateral, bi-lateral and non- governmental donor organizations; wrote, edited, and produced the organization’s printed collateral materials and electronic publications, including the signature monthly electronic newsletter; cultivated, managed and maintained relationships with vendors, consultants and donors; spearheaded web site redesign and managed content; wrote and edited speeches; responsible for hiring, managing and supervising the communications intern program.
Established new communications office with focus on media relations, publications and internal and external communications
Procured media placements in more than 50 international top-tier news organizations, including Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Financial Times, ABC News and National Public Radio The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, Washington, DC 2002 to 2005 DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS
Created, shaped and executed the Initiative’s overall communication strategy, tactics, core positioning and messaging; served as spokesperson and liaison with media; teamed with director to produce all ongoing communications activities: polling, policy dialogues, media events, scientific workshops, white papers, fact sheets, web site design and content, and monthly original-content journal; wrote op-eds and letters to the editor for executive director and Initiative co-chairs; implemented core marketing initiatives, such as web outreach, advertising (events, general education, and issues management campaign) and database building; presented findings and spoke on behalf of the Initiative at industry, government and general events; wrote and edited speeches; shared supervision of communication staff as well as administrative staff; managed several PR, media and communications consultants.
Co-managed and maintained a multi-million dollar communications budget (duration of grant was 4 years)
Developed and cultivated relationships with mainstream press and media that increased visibility of Initiative as well as the Pew Trusts, solidifying organization as the “go-to” source for credible and objective information on agricultural biotechnology Daniel F. DiFonzo, Jr./Page 2
Clarksville Mortgage Corporation, Clarksville, MD 2001 to 2002 VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Established, serviced, managed and developed sales initiatives and new business strategies for a leading residential mortgage broker specializing in home loan refinance and new home purchases; conceived, built and implemented external communications plan; acted as a spokesman for the company. American Management Systems, Fairfax, VA 2000 to 2001 DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Provided strategic, targeted public and media relations input and marketing/communications counsel for the largest and most profitable division of AMS, which provides information technology and business consulting services to the commercial, federal, state and local government marketplaces; managed and coordinated the activities of outside vendors and public relations agencies; wrote, edited and produced high level marketing and public relations collateral for internal and external distribution; wrote and edited speeches for executive staff; facilitated interviews with the trade and mainstream press to maximize media exposure; represented MS&T in creating, disseminating and developing core messages for each of its vertical markets and AMS' overall branding initiative.
Managed and directed the public relations function of AMS' MS&T Division with annual revenue of over $300M
Developed strategies, planned and targeted media buys surrounding corporate launch of branding initiative SCIENS Worldwide Public Relations, McLean, VA 1998 to 1999 DIRECTOR OF MEDIA AND CONSTITUENCY RELATIONS
Established “virtual” Washington, DC office for a New York-based healthcare public relations firm; served on executive management team; generated new business opportunities focusing on the biotech industry, pharmaceutical companies and trade and professional associations; prepared and counseled clients for future FDA hearings and reviews; served as client leader and project manager for international pharmaceutical account; conceptualized and executed medical product launches to healthcare audiences; contracted with and managed consultants for all aspects of media campaign.
Established a healthcare and public affairs presence in the nation's capital
Planned and launched a national PR campaign for a pharmaceutical product resulting in hundreds of media impressions Weber/Ryan McGinn Strategic Communications, Arlington, VA 1997 to 1998 DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Developed, executed and directed integrated strategic and crisis communications programs to help Fortune 500 companies, trade organizations, colleges and universities, business leaders, government agencies and other groups establish, enhance, restore and protect their reputations; worked closely with president of organization as member of executive management team to provide strategic counsel for largest account; supervised, directed and served as team leader on various account teams; provided market research analyses and in-depth industry intelligence; served as liaison to third-party advocates on confidential client issues.
Health Insurance Association of America, Washington, DC 1993 to 1997 MANAGER OF MEDIA SERVICES AND MANAGER OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS Represented association as national media spokesman; conceived, planned and implemented marketing, advertising and public relations strategies surrounding the controversial “Harry and Louise” advertisements during the national healthcare reform debate, resulting in thousands of print and broadcast media placements nationwide; wrote and edited speeches for executive staff; wrote press releases, editorials, articles and advisories for submission to national publications; organized advance publicity and represented association at media events, press conferences and radio/television talk shows; produced video/audio news releases and outreach videos; pitched and procured media opportunities for key staff on major national television news programs, and dozens of other media outlets, including: This Week with David Brinkley, CNN's Crossfire, Meet the Press, The McLaughlin Group and Face the Nation.
United States Information Agency, Voice of America, Washington, DC 1993 to 1995 INTERNATIONAL NEWS WRITER
Wrote, edited and reported world news for global broadcast; acted as editor and news resource for Agency on world news and regional events; provided broadcasters with up-to-the-minute information and news via satellite for worldwide audience; represented Agency at press conferences. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC 1988 to 1993 LEGISLATIVE COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
United Broadcasting Corporation, WINX Radio, Rockville, Maryland 1984 to 1989 ANNOUNCER/NEWS ANCHOR
Master of General Business Administration, Marketing, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 1995 B.A., Mass Communications, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 1985 HONORS AND ACTIVITIES:
Road Runners Club of America (Certified Running Coach, 2011-Present); Montgomery County Road Runners Club (Coach and Member, Experienced Marathoners Program, 2004-Present); Montgomery County Road Runners Club (Communications Committee Member, 2013 to present); Orange Alliance Basketball Program (Board of Directors Member, 2012-2019); American Cancer Society Relay for Life (Executive Committee Member, 2005- 2006); National Press Club (former member); Public Relations Society of America (National and Regional Member, 1998-2002); Co-recipient of the Robert R. Neal Award presented by the HIAA (1994); Rockville Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (Board of Directors Member, 1998-2002); Toastmasters International; American Cancer Society (Speakers Bureau); Alpha Epsilon Rho (Communications Honor Society); Montgomery Community Television, Inc. (Certified Television Producer); Sacred Heart Academy (English for Speakers of Other Languages [ESOL] Instructor); Professional Race Announcer; American Red Cross (CPR and AED certification); 60-time marathon and ultra-marathon finisher—16 consecutive Boston Marathon finishes (2005 to present).
References Available Upon Request