Denise Burgess

Senior Advisor, Change Management

A national security expert, Denise Burgess is a seasoned strategist and communicator with a strong track record of leading crisis strategy and response, both in the U.S. and abroad. She brings her experience at the U.S. State Department, the United States Information Agency, as well as CNN to BMGC clients facing complex reputational challenges in rapidly changing environments. She has served on the board of a prominent U.S. academic institution and has guest lectured at institutes of higher education both in the U.S. and overseas.

During her diplomatic career, she lived and worked in a wide variety of countries, served on Secretary of State James Baker’s Executive Secretariat Staff, and manned the State Department’s 24-hour worldwide crisis response and communications center. An experienced global communicator, Burgess was on the front lines of large-scale crises including an Indian Airlines plane crash and the African Embassy Bombings, where she served as a communications first-responder. As a correspondent for CNN, Burgess covered national and international news, reporting live from Baghdad during the Iraq war.

Burgess later returned to national security work as a senior advisor to the Pentagon’s Afghanistan Reconstruction Group, and as a senior advisor leading communication for the Special Inspector for Iraq Reconstruction. In South Sudan, she provided high-level strategic communications, change management, and reputational development to the second in command of the country’s Ministry of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs.

Burgess earned a B.A. in Political Science from Princeton University and a M.S. in Strategic Communications Management from Syracuse University, where she wrote her thesis on The Role of Communications in Change Management.