Undergraduate Commencement Speaker
Rob Flaherty '81
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Utica College 2017 Commencement Speaker
Rob Flaherty, Class of 1981, is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ketchum, the global public relations firm. Ketchum is comprised of 2,500 professionals in 130 offices in more than 70 countries. In partnership with its clients, the firm is the most award-winning agency in its industry. It was named Agency of the Year in 2012 and is a finalist for 2017 Global Agency of the Year later this week at a ceremony in London.
Rob was named Global PR Leader of the Year in 2016 by the International Communications Consultancy Organization.
Before his career at Ketchum, Rob graduated with degrees in Journalism and Public Relations from Utica College. During college he was a reporter and editorial cartoonist for The Tangerine, the news director at WPNR and the president of the Ray Simon Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. While at UC he met his wife Tammy, class of 1982. Today they have two children, Ryan, 27 and Erin, 24.
After graduating, Rob was named PR Director for the FX Matt Brewing Company, the brewer of Saranac. He headed to New York City in 1984 and joined Ketchum in 1989.
Rob and Tammy have been consistent supporters of Utica College since graduating, contributing to the Raymond Simon Institute as well as the college Annual Fund. Rob also served as a board member of the Economic Crime Institute of Utica College.