President, North America
Kelly Williamson is president of APCO Worldwide’s North America region. As the youngest female member on APCO’s Global Leadership Team, she is accustomed to exploring new territory and capturing opportunities. She’s a strategic advisor and an entrepreneur at-heart. From the founding of APCO’s Raleigh presence and helping grow it into a flourishing business; to regularly galvanizing new and creative ideas from around the world; or simply challenging herself, her clients and her managers to think bigger and act more boldly, Kelly is a force of nature who consistently challenges the status quo.
Her dedication to improving the firm’s culture and infrastructure of APCO is laudable. After beginning her APCO career as an intern in 1999, Kelly now helps global companies transform their business and be prepared for what’s next.
Kelly’s tenure features career highlights across diverse industry sectors and regions. She created APCO’s Accelerate What’s Right program that addresses systemic racism and builds inclusive cultures for APCO teams, clients and community. She’s a specialist in issues and corporate reputation, particularly for regulated industries. She built and initially lead APCO’s key client initiative that trains colleagues globally on how to provide exceptional client service.
In recent years, Kelly was honored several times for her significant career accomplishments. She won a 2022 Top Women in Communications Award in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion category; was named a Champion in the 2018 PRWeek Hall of Femme; and was named a 2018 Top Women in PR by PR News.
Kelly is on the board of advisors at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Media and Journalism School and prior to joining APCO she served as a financial management consultant for the Principal Financial Group. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communication with a concentration in public relations and business from James Madison University.