Robert Mathias

Robert Mathias is a senior executive who brings deep expertise in all aspects of external relations, strategic communications, and organizational leadership.

He is skilled at using the external communications function to achieve and bolster business goals, raise individual and corporate profiles, and achieve public policy objectives. Having held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Energy, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, and the National Park Foundation (NPF), Robert has deep public and private sector knowledge and experience. Robert is a leader with the ability to motivate teams to achieve their very best and beyond, and he has a demonstrated record of accomplishment through all phases of the business cycle and organizational change. He has developed numerous successful advocacy and communications-based solutions to high-level/high-stakes business challenges, helping organizations successfully navigate difficult and, at times, unknown territory while saving them millions of dollars in potential losses.

Prior to joining Forbes Tate Partners as a Managing Partner in 2022, Robert was the Chief of External Affairs for the NPF, the leading national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of America’s national parks. Robert led the team responsible for all government relations, communications, marketing and corporate partnerships, where he successfully retooled both the approach and apparatus necessary to carry out external functions in support of NPF’s mission. NPF initiatives under Robert’s leadership included congressional passage of landmark conservation legislation, the development of a new NPF brand platform (Wonder Calls), creation of a dedicated social media function, realignment of corporate the partnership program, and the creation of a nationwide advertising campaign. The Foundation raises approximately $100 million per year to protect and enhance the nation’s national parks and connect more people to them.

Earlier in his career, Robert was the President of Ogilvy Washington for 15 years where he was responsible for all aspects of this multi-disciplinary Ogilvy & Mather office that includes public relations and public affairs, and advertising, as well as the nation’s leading social marketing practice. Ogilvy Washington’s clients included Fortune 100 companies, industry trade associations, and key federal agencies. Under Robert’s leadership, Ogilvy Washington became the fastest growing and most profitable office across Ogilvy’s global public relations network.

While still responsible for the day-to-day operations of Ogilvy Washington, Robert was appointed North American CEO for Ogilvy Public Relations. In this capacity, Robert managed seven offices across the United States, a nationwide P&L of $150 million, and a team of approximately 500 people. Prior to assuming the leadership of the Washington office, Robert served as the head of Ogilvy PR’s San Francisco office.

Robert has also had extensive experience in the federal government, having served in President George H.W. Bush’s administration (41) as the Executive Assistant to U.S. Energy Secretary James D. Watkins and, subsequently, as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Energy where he managed an expansive federal budget, career employees and government programs. Robert has also worked abroad in Saudi Arabia where he was a member of a team that pioneered the development and implementation of a Kingdom-wide public health program.

Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management.

Robert is a past Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Lab School of Washington, an internationally recognized school for children and adults with learning disabilities. Robert also served on the Board of Trustees of The Yellowstone Park Foundation, a private philanthropy dedicated to the protection and preservation of Yellowstone National Park.

He was inducted into the Public Relations Society of America Hall of Fame for the National Capital Chapter and, subsequently, into the PRNews Hall of Fame.

Robert lives in Washington with his wife, Sarah, where he is an avid outdoor enthusiast and beekeeper who enjoys hiking, biking, and photography. Rob and Sarah have two adult daughters, Clare and Catie.