Alan Hilburg, President and CEO of Hilburg Associates, has had five careers so far in his lifetime.
He has been recognized seven times as the world’s leading crisis advisor for his expertise in addressing crises that threaten internal and external institutional brand trust.
He pioneered the disciplines of modern-day crisis leadership as an integrated management response to avoid, prevent and contain crises in today’s VUCA environment and protect leadership assets.
Alan is recognized as a global expert in building trust-based leadership teams and organizations to achieve multi-generational, multi-functional cultural integration. Most recently, he has been selected as the incoming Chancellor of the newly created Trust Institute.
He is the author of two NY Times best sellers on leadership, an Academy Award nominee; and he was the architect of three of the top ten brand campaigns of the 20th century.
His management of the Tylenol crisis in 1982 has been memorialized as the platinum case history at the Harvard Business School. In a highly rewarded career, he has been called on to guide and navigate international political and business leaders, celebrities and NGO boards in successfully resolving more than 200 high-risk crises of the past 35 years.
Additionally, he broke new ground in 1985 when he was the first to align crisis leadership and marketing skills with litigation. He has successfully defended clients in 108 trials on five continents.
Alan has been recognized by the New York Times as the "Red Adair of corporate crisis management” and by the Los Angeles Times as “the first person a CEO should call when involved in a crisis.”
Fin24 said of Hilburg, “he’s the go-to advisor for brands in trouble…the leading crisis advisor in the world.” Known for his senior perspectives and judgment, The London Times wrote that Alan is “the first call for those who find themselves in difficult high-risk crises.” The Wall Street Journal called him the "earliest practitioner of reputation management in litigation contexts."
His experience transcends most of the news making crises of the past 35 years in multiple business sectors including Love Canal; Exxon Valdez; Enron; through his involvement in the Toyota runaway car litigation, BP oil spill, Penn State and Ohio State crises and the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy. He has represented Leona Helmsley, IMUS, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Kobe Bryant, Oliver North, Clark Clifford and a number of other high-profile celebrities and political figures.
He has helped lead executive teams in a number of complex environmental cases including clients Barrick Gold, Shell, Occidental, Dow Chemical, Exxon-Mobil.
As a speaker, Alan has been invited to deliver more than 260 speeches in the past seven years on leading and thriving in a VUCA world. His body of work focuses on guidance of leadership teams in becoming transformation-ready organizations by driving culture and values as the foundation of competitive transformation.
He has authored two New York Times best sellers on leadership, WF Rockwell’s “Twelve Hats of a Company President” and Boston Celtic legend Bill Russell’s “Eleven Lessons in Leadership from the Greatest Winner of the 20th Century.” (876,000 copies)
In collaboration with Fortune magazine, Alan created the Business Hall of Fame and co-developed the America’s Most Admired Companies program.
As a filmmaker and producer, his team received an Academy Award nomination for the first environmental documentary and second-ever IMAX movie, “Living Planet”, three awards (including an Emmy nomination) for his HBO special, “My Life, My Way” and four international awards and Emmy for the PBS Special, “New Sweden”.
Alan has extensive marketing credentials creating and managing three of the top ten campaigns of the 20th century including Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” campaign; GE’s “Bring Good Things to Life” and AT&T’s “Olympic Torch Run.” He has won six Silver Anvils (the highest international communications award) and five Clios (for his advertising campaigns).
He also teaches Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Prince Edward Island; crisis and risk communications at George Mason University; and trust, culture and risk at the University of California-Irvine in addition to lecturing at more than a dozen other U.S., Asian, African and European universities.
Over Alan's career, his commitment to sharing knowledge has guided him in mentoring many young professionals. He has served as a marketing consultant to the National Mentoring Partnership and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He is also a past board member of the Dallas Zoo, Washington Chamber Symphony, LunGevity Fdtn and a number of other local organizations.
Hilburg Associates has offices in Hong Kong, Washington DC, Johannesburg and Hamburg.