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Iris Shaffer

Senior Director, North America Media Relations Practice Lead

Iris Shaffer, senior director in APCO Worldwide’s Chicago office and North America media relations practice lead, brings more than two decades of health care communications and media relations expertise. She has extensive experience working for both pharma and medical associations. Ms. Shaffer assists clients by developing and directing successful communications campaigns and managing complicated challenges for industry trade associations, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to APCO, Ms. Shaffer had her own communications consultancy where she worked for clients including American Association of Diabetes Educators, Amgen, Alere, Biggest Loser Resorts, Centocor, Essential Patient Recruitment, HealthMedia, Health Directions, Kowa, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, National Parkinson’s Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi Pasteur and WebMD. She has unique expertise in creating and executing clinical trial patient recruitment and shopper marketing public relations programs as well as extensive media relations experience.

Ms. Shaffer also previously served as Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) chief spokesperson and worked in communications positions for the BCBSA and with member companies to shape the overall image of the Blue Brands. She conceived and oversaw implementation of BCBSA’s “Healthy Competition” program to educate people on the health risks of performance-enhancing drugs and sports supplements. It was a PRWeek Healthcare Campaign of the Year. Through the program, she developed alliances with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and Office of National Drug Control Policy. She advised two cabinet-level “Drug Czars” and was a speaker for NIH on youth sports and drugs.

Ms. Shaffer also held corporate communications/public affairs positions with the American Osteopathic Association, the Alliance of American Insurers and the U.S. Department of Education.

Ms. Shaffer earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.