Katie Wilkes

Katie Wilkes has spent the past eight years deploying to disaster sites as a national spokesperson and content specialist for the American Red Cross. As a humanitarian and communications professional, she has brought stories and headlines to life with appearances on The Weather Channel and MSNBC and in publications including the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Her time spent both on disaster grounds as a volunteer and at media agencies have lead her to this next phase of her work. Her first national response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 led her to continue deploying to disasters around the country in her spare time, while working 9-5 at agencies including Ogilvy & Mather and Res Publica Group. Her then “parallel life” consisted of developing corporate crisis communication strategies and grassroots campaigns during working hours, and deploying to disasters during the weekends, holidays and on allotted vacation time.

In 2014, Katie worked full-time on assignment for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland. There, she developed and launched global health campaigns, including the response to the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. She credits her time in Geneva as the steepest learning curve that has prepared her to take risks before she feels ready.

Upon returning back to the United States, Katie worked as the marketing manager for the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois.

A 2011 magna cum laude graduate of DePaul University, Katie lives in Chicago and frequents her alma mater as an industry speaker. Katie has written guest blogs for WomenStrong International and is a featured writer for Illumine Chicago Magazine.