Bellwether Strategies President Michael Holtzman is one of the most honored and sought-after communication and business strategists in the world. Among his achievements, he was named “PR Person of the Year” by the leading industry magazine for his role leading the successful international communications campaign for Beijing’s bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. He was also a top advisor to Vancouver’s winning bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and was instrumental to the strategic commercial and cultural turn-around of the leading American historic site, Colonial Williamsburg.
Previously, Mike served as a Middle East/North Africa Advisor in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Policy Planning Staff, a Communications Advisor in the Executive Office of the President of the United States, and Director of Public Affairs at The Council on Foreign Relations. Under his leadership, Bellwether is working on a number of sensitive, mission-critical projects for governments, NGO’s and private companies in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Mike is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where he subsequently served for more than a decade on the Advisory Board for the Reves Center for International Studies. He served two terms as a Trustee of Washington College in Chesterton, MD. Mike’s commentary on international relations and politics has been published in the New York Times among other prestigious publications.
Managing Director Ethan Wagner has provided strategic advice to a number of heads of state, government ministers, corporate CEOs, academics, artists, charities, and start-ups in the MENA region, Africa, and Latin America. His specialties include social media, country branding, and public relations for emerging markets. Among the projects he has led are the World Bank-IMF Pan-African Inaugural Ball following the election of Barack Obama as president, Columbia University's TEDx Talks, and efforts by the non-profit group Physicians for Peace to set up medical missions abroad. Ethan has published analysis and articles in the Harvard Kennedy School Review, Columbia's Journal of International Affairs, the World Policy Journal, and Open Democracy, among others. Ethan leads Bellwether's media division across the Middle East and North Africa.
Associate Director Emily Holtzman is a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she studied Government and Anthropology. Emily's international work includes leading groups of students to rural Nicaragua to carry out development and sustainability projects through the non-profit organization Bridges to Community, and establishing her own social entrepreneurship initiative to help fight malaria in Dakar, Senegal. Emily also served as an intern for the famed publication The Atlantic in the summer of 2017.
Bellwether's team includes some of the most innovative, sharp professionals with expertise in communications, international diplomacy, academia, design, and social media.
Please take a look through our staff to get to know our team.