Matthew J. Harrington ’84
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2003
Shortly after leaving Granville in May 1984, Matthew J. Harrington joined Edelman, the world’s largest independently owned communications firm, and now has more than 19 years’ experience counseling both U.S. and non-U.S. companies with regard to reputation and issues management. He currently is president of Edelman’s eastern region, overseeing offices from Miami to the firm’s largest in New York. Previously, Matt spent seven years in San Francisco managing Edelman’s five West Coast offices.
Matt’s expertise encompasses crisis management and communications associated with financial transactions. Currently, Matt provides counsel to a range of clients including Swiss Re, Charles Schwab & Company, Kraft International, The Gap, Microsoft, Samsung, and Schering-Plough. He is currently involved in a reputation-building project for Columbia University’s 250th anniversary.
In just one example of the caliber of his work, Matt managed crisis communications for Odwalla, Inc., during a recall of their apple juice throughout seven states and British Columbia. Based on his performance, he was awarded the “Silver Anvil” for Crisis Communications from the Public Relations Society of America. Matt’s program also received the “Silver Anvil” for Best Communications Program for 1996, as well as the International Public Relations Association’s “Golden Award.”
Matt is a member of the University Glee Club of New York City and was a founding member of the a capella group “The Bandersnatch.” Together with his wife Lisa Abell Harrington ’85, he recently formed an a capella group for their community’s high school students in which their oldest of two daughters sings.
Matt has always made time for extensive volunteer service to Denison—being a Career Advisor, DART Geo Area Chair, Fellowthon City Chair, and Alumni Council member. His commitment to service extends to his community as well. He is currently a board member of the Tri-State United Way Board of Directors, The Bone Marrow Foundation, and The Classic Stage Company. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Matt coordinated a grief-counseling center for the families of client Cantor Fitzgerald, the company that lost almost 700 employees in the attacks on the World Trade Center.