Katie Garcia is the Founder and President of Athene Strategies. For more than ten years, Ms. Garcia has worked in the field of strategic and crisis communications and leadership development. During this time she has advised clients across multiple sectors including non-profits, international and national non-governmental organizations, religious institutions, educational institutions, political action campaigns, inter-governmental organizations, and national corporations. Ms. Garcia has trained and advised leaders and emerging leaders across sectors to improve their ability to communicate effectively in their positions of leadership.
Ms. Garcia previously served as Communications Coordinator at the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC), a nonprofit civil rights organization based in New York City. In this role, Ms. Garcia was tasked with building a communication department from the ground up, including crafting and executing a strategic communication plan and building a communication infrastructure within the organization. During her time at the FHJC, Ms. Garcia created educational, advocacy and promotional materials for the organization, created issue- and campaign-specific messaging guides tailored for specific audiences, ran various communication and fundraising campaigns, handled media relations, managed the organization’s websites and social media accounts, created and maintained the organization’s story bank, organized and co-led major outreach projects, and organized small- to large-scale events. As a result, the way in which organization communicates about its mission and work has fundamentally changed to more effectively engage with its stakeholders.
Ms. Garcia also served as Interim Communication Consultant for the Starr King School for the Ministry, part of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. In this role, she headed the communication department during a time of transition and crisis—advising the new president of the school, coordinating and crafting crisis communications with internal stakeholders and the media, and creating and implementing a multi-year strategic communication plan for the school.
Prior to this, Ms. Garcia served as a Communications Consultant for Religions for Peace, the largest and most multi-religious coalition of senior religious leaders working for peace. While at Religions for Peace, Ms. Garcia headed the communications department as the organization developed a new strategic framework and communication plan. She assisted in the creation of the plan, implemented elements of the new plan, and managed communications during regular business and high-impact events including the global Interfaith Summit on Climate Change, which brought together senior religious leaders from around the world to convey faith communities’ concerns and proposals to the UN Secretary General’s Climate Change Summit.
For more than seven years, Ms. Garcia worked at Logos Consulting Group and the Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership. While working as a research analyst, she assisted and led client trainings and engagements in the US and abroad, generated case studies, and served various communication roles at client events. One engagement included serving as a Social Media Coordinator at the 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Vienna, Austria in November of 2013. For this event, Ms. Garcia co-created the client’s event communication strategy and messaging, created and operated multiple social media platforms, wrote all press releases and daily newsletters at the event, and created an online archive of the event. She also served at the 8th World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Kyoto, Japan in August of 2006, as a press room intern and assistant photographer.
Over the years, Ms. Garcia has also served in organizations such as Freedom to Marry, Disaster Chaplaincy Services, Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York, Brodeur Partners and Millennium Promise.
Ms. Garcia researched, fact-checked and edited several books, including The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively by Helio Fred Garcia. Additionally, she created training guides for educators seeking to teach The Power of Communication in their classrooms.
Ms. Garcia has guest lectured at the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s on strategic and crisis communication for undergraduate students.
Ms. Garcia received her Bachelor of Arts from The New School for Public Engagement, while studying in the Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s Graduate Program in International Affairs. At the same time, she received a Graduate Certificate in Unitarian Universalist Studies from the Starr King School for the Ministry. She received numerous academic honors, including The New School for Public Engagement Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement.
Ms. Garcia is passionate about finding ways to serve in her community and around the world. She has traveled extensively, visiting 27 countries on six continents. She is a volunteer religious education teacher for children ranging in age from 5 – 18 years old. For two years, she served on the board of Dance Entropy, a nonprofit that provides a platform for dancers and choreographers from around the country and serves the local community through dance education and classes using dance as a healing tool. During her youth, she organized multiple events and petitions focused on highlighting and remedying humanitarian disasters and human right violations. She spent time in college volunteering in Hohoe, Ghana, teaching English and mathematics at a small private primary school. She is also a competitive ballroom dancer and certified ballroom and Latin dance teacher with a goal to find ways of combining her love of dancing with her commitment to serving her community.