John Saunders is president and CEO of public relations giant FleishmanHillard and was Irish America’s 2016 Business 100 keynote speaker. More recent speaking engagements included Web Summit in Lisbon, the annual Leadership Lecture at Dublin City University, and Collision in Toronto.
Saunders began his career as a journalist at RTÉ. In 1990, he joined FleishmanHillard and helped develop it into Ireland’s largest public relations consultancy. He later served as regional president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
He is only the fourth individual to hold the title of CEO in FleishmanHillard’s 77-year history. He is an honorary life member of the Public Relations Institution of Ireland and was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame. FleishmanHillard won, for the second year in a row, Agency of the Year and Extra Large Agency of the Year at a gala event in NYC on March 16, and will receive the Individual Achievement PR Industry award in New York in May 2023.
From Dublin, Saunders has been married to his wife Jean for 43 years. They have three children: Colin, Caroline, and Hannah; and four granddaughters: Matilda, Maisie, Lucy, and Maya. He currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and has been grand marshal of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.