Loretta M. Ucelli
Loretta Ucelli earned a bachelor’s degree in news editorial from the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism in 1976. Her more than 20 years of experience in issue strategy, reputation management and crisis communication has placed her at the epicenter of some of the most powerful decision-makers in the world.
Ms. Ucelli served as Assistant to the President and Director of White House Communications during the final 22 months of President Bill Clinton’s term. In that capacity, she was among the closest advisors to the president, handling communication issues that included the economy, trade, crime, education, health care and foreign policy. Her expertise in crisis communication management has made her one of the country’s most sought after advisors when tragedy strikes. She shared that expertise in a column in PR Week shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Ucelli’s position as White House Communications Director has been featured in magazines such as TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. As part of the White House advisory staff, Ucelli’s responsibilities were compared and contrasted to those of the communications director on the NBC television series The West Wing.
During her tenure as Associate Administrator for Communications at the Environment Protection Agency, Ucelli operated efficiently in a highly technical and scientific environment to explain the work of the agency to the American public. Considered one of the toughest government communications positions, Ucelli met the challenge by revamping and modernizing the environmental education program of the agency and its website. The improvements doubled the number of visits to the website each month to one million.
A letter of recommendation from President Clinton for the honor of WVU Distinguished Alumna states: “I deeply valued her wise counsel and professional expertise…Loretta brings great pride to West Virginia University and to our nation.”
Ucelli currently serves as chair of the crisis management sector of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide based in New York City. This position requires her to oversee a team of organizational crisis specialists. Together, they assess clients’ needs and provide strategic counsel and response services when crises occur.
She is a native of Long Island, N.Y.