CIPR President's Medal awarded to the UN's Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, has been awarded the Chartered Institute of Public Relations' (CIPR) 2023 President's Medal.

Ms. Fleming leads the UN’s Department of Global Communications, which is responsible for informing global audiences about the state of the world and engaging them to build support for the organisation’s work and goals. Under her leadership, the Department engages in far-reaching efforts to address misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech. The CIPR President’s Medal was founded in 1966. It is usually awarded annually to an individual who has provided distinguished services to public relations.

Upon awarding the Medal at the CIPR International Group's Maggie Nally Lecture delivered by Ms. Fleming, CIPR President Steve Shepperson-Smith outlined how this was in "recognition of the mark of the esteem in which the CIPR holds the work of the United Nations". Ms. Fleming's career and longstanding championing of the plight of refugees was an example, he suggested, of the good that PR can do for society if used in the right way - a key theme of the CIPR's 75 anniversary.

Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

I am deeply honored to accept the 2023 President Medal of the Charted Institute of Public Relations for my work promoting the causes of the United Nations. Our world is facing multiple, cascading challenges and our information ecosystems are poisoned with disinformation, conspiracies and hate. In this environment, CIPR’s commitment to ethical communications and the highest professional standards of integrity and transparency are a model for everyone in our profession to follow.

Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications
CIPR President Steve Shepperson-Smith Chart. PR, FCIPR

It is my honour as CIPR President to award this year's President's Medal to such a prestigious figure in our industry. Our 75th anniversary has been themed around the societal good public relations has, and can, deliver and Melissa's career and public service, including as a passionate and persuasive advocate for refugees, is a perfect example of this in action. Her critical work has helped to shape the world we live in and continues to be needed in the face of global challenges.

CIPR President Steve Shepperson-Smith Chart. PR, FCIPR

Ms. Fleming previously served at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as Head of Global Communications. Prior to that, she worked in senior communications roles for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She is a TED speaker, the author of the book, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, and the host of the award-winning UN podcast, Awake at Night. 

See a list of previous CIPR Medal winners.


About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with over 10,000 members. 

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).