2014 PR People Awards: Spokesperson of the Year

Winner: David Daigle, Associate Director for Communications, Public Health Preparedness and Response, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dave Daigle is a nationally recognized expert on crisis and emergency risk communications. In 2014, Daigle was deployed to Indiana and Lagos, Nigeria to be the principal spokesman for CDC's response activities surrounding the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States and the first cases of Ebola in Nigeria that were part of the largest outbreak of the deadly disease in over 40 years.

The scope of these responses and intense media coverage demanded the skills of one of the best media spokespeople CDC has, which is why the agency deployed Daigle. The two deployments, which occurred in a three-month time frame, involved hundreds of media engagements, on-the-fly thinking and exceptional instincts as a spokesperson to accurately convey the situation and the federal government's response, and to reassure the public that CDC was working tirelessly to protect the health of all Americans.

As part of his duties, Daigle provided background briefings, conducted press conferences, made CDC scientists available for media interviews, contributed a personal story to a major outlet, prepared media materials and worked with other spokespeople from Indiana, the health ministry of Nigeria, the U.S. Department of State, the White House National Security Council and the World Health Organization.

Honorable Mention:

  • Courtney Nogas, Pepco Holdings, Inc.