Kathy Tunheim

President + Chief Executive Officer

Kathy Tunheim co-founded the firm in 1990 with four colleagues from Honeywell, Inc., and has served as president and chief executive officer throughout the firm’s evolution to Tunheim. She maintains an active role in many of the agency’s client relationships, and is a well-known crisis communications counselor to senior executives. She is past president of IPREX, one of the world’s largest networks of independent communications firms, which Tunheim joined in 2007.

Prior to co-founding the agency, Kathy gained experiences in both the corporate world and the political arena that profoundly shaped her approach to creating value as an agency counselor. She served as vice president for public relations and internal communications at Honeywell. Earlier in her career, she handled media relations and speechwriting for Wendell R. Anderson — for both his time as governor of the State of Minnesota and during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. Collectively these experiences cause her to be particularly intrigued by the challenges of helping clients navigate the intersections of business, public policy and the media.

In 2011, she accepted a part-time appointment as senior advisor to Minnesota’s governor, serving two years focused on igniting job creation across the state. She serves on the board of directors for Landscape Structures, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of commercial playground equipment.

With a tentative interest in studying engineering, Kathy attended the University of Minnesota, ultimately choosing to shift her focus to political science. Her education was financed in part by work as a musician; she regularly appeared in coffeehouses and clubs throughout the Midwest while in college.

Kathy grew up in Northfield, Minn., in a family that was deeply engaged in community service and steeped in passion for football. With brothers who played quarterback, she spent many afternoons “going long” on passing route patterns — experience that contributed to her fascination with dynamic strategy formulation.

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