Tomas Bilbao is Managing Director of <a href="http://www.avilastrategies.com/" rel="nofollow">Avila Strategies LLC</a>, a public affairs consultancy that protects and enhances clients’ reputations by anticipating risks, building strategic relationships with stakeholders, and ensuring effective communication of value propositions to relevant interest groups. <br> <br> Mr. Bilbao is a public affairs executive with over a decade of experience in shaping public policy. With experience in the legislative and executive branches of federal government and the non-for-profit and corporate sectors, Tomas has designed and executed successful campaigns that have positioned clients to influence and take advantage of emerging challenges and opportunities. <br> <br> A recognized subject-matter expert on U.S.-Cuba relations, Tomas has advised top Cuban-American executives and led a public policy campaign that played a key role in the historic shift in policy announced by President Obama in December 2014. <br> <br> He has launched and supervised groundbreaking social projects in Cuba, helping his clients make a positive impact on the ground while advancing their goals. By leveraging key relationships and building coalitions, Tomas has helped industry leaders influence U.S. policy changes in the areas of banking, telecommunications, travel, and hospitality and microenterprise development. <br> <br> As a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Tomas has helped provide business intelligence in the areas of reputation management, crisis mitigation, political risk assessment and communications. <br> <br> Tomas has been widely published in, and appears frequently on, national and international media outlets. He holds a degree in International Studies from American University in Washington, DC and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.