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Fels Institute's Research & Consulting Senior Advisor: Eric Rabe

September 27, 2011, Volume 58, No. 03


Fels Institute of Government announced that former Verizon Senior Vice President Eric Rabe has joined Fels Research & Consulting—the Institute’s consulting practice for public sector and non-profit organizations. Mr. Rabe will serve as senior advisor specializing in communications issues.

Mr. Rabe brings to Fels over 35 years of experience in strategic corporate communications, management and the news media. He is an expert in Internet and new media technologies and communications and has been a frequent speaker and writer on the evolving use of interactive communications. 

At Verizon, Mr. Rabe served as senior vice president of media relations and public relations.  He developed and successfully implemented strategic communications programs in areas as diverse as change management, product support and crisis management. Mr. Rabe developed and led change management and communications strategies to support three of the largest mergers ever attempted in the US. Mr.  Rabe led the team that successfully positioned in the marketplace Verizon’s FiOS fiber optic television service, the first major nationwide challenge to traditional cable television monopolies.  After the 9/11 attacks destroyed much of the Verizon telecommunications infrastructure in lower Manhattan, Mr. Rabe served as crisis manager and led the Verizon communications response team. 

“We are thrilled that Eric has partnered with Fels,” said David Thornburgh, executive director of Fels Institute of Government.  “He will provide a wealth of real-world experience to our practice in the government and non-profit sectors.  Already Eric is providing expert guidance in the development of our forthcoming second edition Promising Practices brief on Social Media. We are also creating future projects to take advantage of Eric’s invaluable leadership and expertise.”

As a Senior Advisor, Mr. Rabe joins a Fels Research and Consulting team of hand-picked seasoned professionals including Sallie Glickman, a civic entrepreneur; Heather Gleason, a management consultant and Fels alum; Doug Lynch, the vice dean of the Graduate School of Education at Penn; and Marcia Wilkof, an organizational management consultant.  This group will work together to lead new high-impact projects in collaboration with the Institute.  

Mr. Rabe had served as principal of Eric Rabe Communications Strategies, a consulting firm that helps organizations analyze communications issues, plan long-term solutions and execute effective communications and issue management tactics. His views are regularly reported in the national press including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Barron’s, Wired, The Philadelphia Inquirer, various regional newspapers and on-line publications, and many others. 

Mr. Rabe received his MS degree from the University of Pennsylvania in organizational dynamics with specialties in global organization studies, change studies, and leadership. He holds a BA degree in journalism from Penn State University, where he currently serves as an advisor at the Penn State College of Communications, and was recently named a Penn State Alumni Fellow, the University’s highest alumni award.

About Research and Consulting at the Fels Institute of Government

Founded in 1937, the Fels Institute of Government is the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program in public policy and public management.  Originally established for the purpose of training local government officials, over time Fels broadened its mission; it now prepares its students for public leadership positions in city, state, and federal agencies, elective politics, nonprofit organizations, and private firms with close connections to the public sector.  Fels Research & Consulting marries the rich assets of Penn and the Fels Institute of Government with the expertise of seasoned professionals and the creativity of high caliber graduate students to tackle innovative projects related to public policy and public management. Our aim is to work with governments, public institutions, civic groups, and nonprofits to enhance their effectiveness and impact.  The work of Fels Research and Consulting is built on a foundation of Promising Practices—innovations, experiments, programs, or processes that seem to lead to effective and productive results in a given situation.  Several times a year the team focuses on breaking developments in areas of interest to public sector leaders and managers, and embarks on a series of initiatives to understand, communicate and disseminate “promising practices” in particular areas of public leadership.

Almanac - September 27, 2011, Volume 58, No. 03