William Pierce, senior director of APCO Worldwide, joined the firm in 2005. Mr. Pierce is APCO’s lead media relations strategist in the Washington, D.C. office. He interacts with media on a regular basis on behalf of clients as well as works with reporters on stories as a recognized expert in health care. He maintains relationships with most leading health care journalists as well as many others covering politics, business, and editorial.
In his role, he specializes in providing strategic advice and counsel, tactical execution and representation to a wide variety of clients including nearly all of APCO’s health care clients. In his work he develops campaigns, strategies and tactics that combine media relations, policy, advocacy and alliance building to achieve definable objectives that are often at the intersection of business and policy. He also works with companies going through and experiencing crisis, providing them with political, communications and media counsel and planning. He also provides specific and general media, speech and communications training from CEOs on down.
His policy work includes helping clients navigate the policy, media and political environment around the Affordable Care Act, communicating around complex health care issues including the Medicare program and Food and Drug Administration actions as well as issues surrounding the First Amendment, religious freedom, higher education and international development.
Prior to joining APCO, Mr. Pierce served as the deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At HHS, Mr. Pierce was senior spokesman for the Department and the Secretary, and provided public affairs counsel to the Secretary, HHS and its agencies including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of Global Health Affairs. Mr. Pierce was a US delegation member on several HHS trips to Europe and Africa as part of Secretary Thompson’s international outreach and work. He also worked with HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on the HHS’s diet and exercise campaign.
Mr. Pierce is an adjunct professor at The Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Program, where he teaches classes in media relations and crisis communication.
Prior to HHS, Mr. Pierce served as the director of public affairs for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the trade association for the largest health insurance system in the country. Prior to that he worked as the press secretary for Congresswoman Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Congressman Bill Thomas (R-CA) who was the House Republicans leading health care policy expert in Congress. Before working on the Hill, Mr. Pierce was director of communication for the National Taxpayers Union, an account executive for Hill & Knowlton and a research associate with Government Research Corporation. He began his career in Washington as a research analyst for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Mr. Pierce holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pittsburgh.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for Woodley House, a non-profit dedicated to providing housing and related services to persons with mental illness, is a member of the Washington, D.C., Dean’s Advisory Council for the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Mr. Pierce also holds the designation of Professional from the Academy for Healthcare Management. In 2000, he became a founding member of the George Mason University Mercatus Center’s Advisory Council for Capitol Hill Programs – a center providing educational programming on a wide variety of issues to Capitol Hill staff and members of Congress.