Keynote Speakers

WCA ABC are proud to announce the following keynote speakers:

Fiona Cassidy APR, FPRINZ
Director F R Consulting
Tribal Affliations – Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa

With over 25 years in communications and public relations Fiona is recognised as one of New Zealand’s senior communications professionals.

Fiona has worked as a general manager, director of communications and public relations consultant. Appointments she has held include General Manager Porter Novelli, Director of Communications New Zealand Defence Force, Marketing and Communications Manager Tectra and Strategic Communications Manager Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry of Māori Development.

Fiona is an elected board member on the international Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management which has over 30 countries involved and represents over 160,000 members.

She is the Chair of the College of Fellows for the a Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) and a former President. She is also actively involved in the Community Communications Collective which provides volunteer services to Not- For-Profits.

Prof Mohan Dutta
Dean’s Chair in Communication
Massey University

Mohan J Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. His research examines the role of advocacy and activism in challenging marginalizing structures, the relationship between poverty and health, political economy of global health policies, the mobilization of cultural tropes for the justification of neo-colonial health development projects, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered processes and strategies of radical democracy serve as axes of global social change.

Prof Chris Earley
Dean of UTS Business School
University of Technology

Title:  Cultural intelligence in a global context: Effective communications and understanding across cultural boundaries

The address will focus on current thinking concerning cultural intelligence and its role in understanding better cultural communications and management of diverse teams. Issues in relation to cultural intelligence and a global mindset will be explored to illustrate the complementary nature of these key constructs and to suggest innovative ways of integrating them to understand managerial and communication practices.”

Professor Chris Earley became Dean of UTS Business School in November 2017 after serving as the Dean of the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics since July 2015. Chris comes to University of Technology, Sydney with over 25 years of teaching and research experience at top business schools around the globe and over 12 years of administrative experience as a dean across three continents.

Prior to this time, he was the Dean of the Krannert School of Management and the James Brooke Henderson Chair in Management at Purdue University at Purdue University. Before arriving at Purdue, Chris was the Dean and Cycle and Carriage Chair at the Business School at the National University of Singapore. Previously, he held chairs at London Business School and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, among others.

Professor Chris Earley is a high-profile researcher on cultural intelligence theory (CQ) and cross-cultural management and education. He wrote nine books on cultural intelligence and cross-cultural interactions by Stanford University Press, Oxford University Press and so on. His research papers appeared in top-notch journals in management and cross-cultural psychology include Academic of Management Review, Academic of Management Journal, Academic of Management Learning and Education, Administrative Science quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, just to name a few.

Guest speaker: Professor Maureen Taylor

Title: Opportunities and Challenges for Organizations in the Asian Pacific Region: Roles for Public Relations in Building Relationships During Uncertain Times


Each day, organizations across the world compete for publics’ attention and pocketbooks. Global competition means that organizations have to pay as much attention to their consumers in Waikato or Wuhan as they pay attention to their consumers in Washington and Wichita. Globalization has created new opportunities and challenges for organizations and the public relations function will need to help management meet these challenges and maximize opportunities during uncertain times.

Public relations in the Asian Pacific region is clearly a complex activity. There are cultural, economic, political, and social intricacies that need to be navigated. The field needs public relations professionals who are well versed about the impact of culture and societal factors on organization-public relations. We need to be able to provide strategic, tactical and sometimes ethical guidance to our leadership teams.

My goal today is talk about some of the frameworks that may help public relations professionals guide relationship building with publics across the Asian Pacific region. I hope to offer some new ways of thinking about public relations in the region and also discuss some new opportunities for organizations to make unique contributions to the region.


Maureen Taylor, (Ph.D. Purdue University) is Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. Prior to joining UTS, Taylor served as the Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the Gaylord Family Chair of Strategic Communication at the University of Oklahoma.

Taylor’s public relations research has focused on international public relations, dialogue, engagement and new technologies. In 2010, Taylor was honored by the Institute for Public Relations as a Pathfinder for an  “original program of scholarly research that has made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge and practice of public relations.” Taylor is a member of the Arthur S. Page Society and serves as Editor in Chief of Public Relations Review, the largest and oldest journal dedicated to public relations research. In 2018, she was elected as a Fellow in the International Communication Association.