Emily Pappas | Managing Director

  • Traverse City, MI
  • BA, English and Criminal Justice from the University of Michigan
  • Health Care PR, Coalition Management, Grasstops

With a strong background in public policy PR and expertise in designing local and national media campaigns that influence Washington's top policymakers, Emily has built a practice in strategic communications that has specialized in healthcare, scientific research, energy and academia.

A crisis communications guru, Emily once helped quell unnecessary criticism and political posturing that had long been an insurmountable hurdle for an organization working to support pioneering lung cancer research. When the National Cancer Institute released the findings of their own study that validated the client’s research, Emily executed a savvy media strategy and rapid response plan that successfully garnered national press coverage in publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; primetime television coverage on ABC Nightly News, Good Morning America and CNN; national radio exposure on NPR; and online trade press coverage. The coverage marked a critical turning point in the campaign to restore the organization’s reputation and changed the light in which it had been viewed.

In addition to organizing strategic plans and writing compelling messaging and communications materials for Cogent Strategies' clients, Emily has years of experience in coalition building and management, thought leadership and events, and local media and grasstops campaigns that move the needle in Washington and beyond. Emily has advanced the interests of one of the nation's top medical colleges through in-state and international events as well as traditional media relations; raised the profile of optics and photonics – the science and application of light – by securing a seat at the table for the roll-out of former President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative and Cancer Moonshot; organized and publicized a three day global forum to advance a smarter electric grid; and, formed a coalition of health care providers, patient advocates and government officials to apply pressure on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve adult obesity medications.

Emily has spent a dozen-plus years serving as at many of DC's top public affairs firms. A Midwesterner at heart, she was born and raised in Michigan and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.