Carol Cone


Carol Cone
Managing Director

At Edelman, Carol Cone provides strategic counsel to clients on the development of cause and public engagement strategies, as well as corporate and brand citizenship. She has a deep commitment to innovative research with consumers, executives and employees; she works with the firm’s leadership to apply insights from Edelman’s annual goodpurpose™ Consumer Study, its Trust and Health Engagement Barometers, as well as create new insight reports and intellectual property.

Carol is internationally recognized for her work in the cause branding, corporate citizenship and strategic philanthropy arenas.  For over 25 years, she has embraced a steadfast commitment to building substantive and sustainable partnerships between companies and social issues.

From 1980 – 2010 she was the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Cone, Inc.,  recognized as the nation’s leading cause branding consultancy.  There she led the development of signature cause branding programs for forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profit organizations, including: the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, ConAgra Foods' Feeding Children Better, PNC Grow Up Great, the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Movement, P & G’s Live, Learn and Thrive, ITT Watermark, Western Union's Our World, Our Family and Reebok's Human Rights programs. She also created groundbreaking research reports to advance the strategic practice of social issues engagement.  Overall, Cone’s signature cause programs have raised more than $1.2 billion for various social causes. 

Cone is a requested speaker around the globe on the topic of cause branding and corporate citizenship. Because of her expertise, she also provides media commentary to business and industry press, including: USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek and Ad Age. In 2007, PR Week called her "arguably the most powerful and visible figure in the world of cause branding." 

Cone was a founding member of Business for Social Responsibility, a national organization of businesses with two bottom lines: profit and social responsibility. She is a Board Member of Net Impact, a global organization of MBA’s and professionals using business to improve the world.  Cone also serves on the Business Advisory Council of Simmons School of Management, the nation’s first MBA program solely dedicated to women and is a marketing advisor to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

Her first book, Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results, was published in 2010.  She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with a B.S. in Fine Arts, and earned her Masters in Communications from Boston University.  Cone completed the Owner/President Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Her recognitions include:
• 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics, Ethisphere Magazine, 2007
• 25 Most Powerful Professionals in the Communications Industry, PRWeek, 2007
• Changing the Game Award, Advertising Women of  New York, 2007
• Lifetime Achievement Award, PR News, 2005
• 50 Most Powerful Women in Public Relations, PRWeek
• Entrepreneur of the Year, Arthur Young/Venture Magazine

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