Washington, D.C. – Patrick R. Riccards, a veteran communications strategist, has joined the American Institutes for Research (AIR) as executive director for communications and public affairs.
Riccards is the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Exemplar Strategic Communications, where he provided marketing, communications, policy, and research support and counsel to a wide range of education and healthcare organizations. In 2009 PRWeek magazine selected him to its 40 Under 40 honor, recognizing the top communications professionals in the nation.
In recent years he has worked with groups such as Inova Health System, Knowledge Works Foundation, National Governors Association, MedStar Health, National Institute for Health Care Management, National Institutes of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Stanford University, University of Colorado, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among others.
He has also served as executive director of the Pennsylvania STEM Initiative, coordinating P-20 education and teacher training across the state and as chief of staff and counsel to the congressionally mandated National Reading Panel (NRP). He also led the Coalition to Protect Community Not-for-Profit Hospitals as its executive director.
Riccards has previously served as senior vice president and P-20 Education Practice director for Lipman Hearne and as vice president and director of the Healthcare Practice at Widmeyer Communications. He began his career on Capitol Hill, serving in senior communications positions.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Riccards is the author or lead editor of more than a dozen education research studies, beginning with the NRP's Teaching Children to Read report, and was a contributing author of Why Kids Can't Read: Challenging the Status Quo in Education (Rowman Littlefield Education, 2006). An award-winning writer, his pieces have appeared in more than 100 publications. He is the creator of Eduflack, a nationally recognized blog focused on education reform and engagement issues.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.