Singleton, ROKK Solutions SVP, Brings Diplomacy to Downtown D.C.
SPOTLIGHT PROFILE

April 30, 2019 by TWN Staff
Lindsay Singleton_ROKK Solutions
Lindsay Singleton, Senior Vice President, ROKK Solutions

Besides the 98 freshmen Members of Congress, there’s another new name to know in Washington these days. Lindsay Singleton, who joined ROKK Solutions as Senior Vice President, is a long-time communications strategist but spent over half of her career serving the U.S. government overseas.

“Now that I’m back in D.C, I’m excited to tackle a range of policy challenges and apply my diplomatic experience to the partisan divide,” Singleton told The Well News. “ROKK Solutions (a bipartisan firm) has been the ideal place for me to do that.”

That experience comes in handy on a daily basis for Singleton, who cut her teeth managing crisis communications at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela during the 2010 Wikileaks scandal. “We were dealing with real people who had risked their safety to engage with the U.S. government. It went beyond assessing vulnerabilities and controlling the narrative, we had to make sure our stakeholders were protected.”

Now, working with a range of corporate, advocacy and non-profit clients, Singleton draws upon lessons learned in high-stakes situations when dealing with reputational attacks, product recalls, and congressional hearings. And in this age of the 24-hour media cycle and social media, those lessons learned are applicable to communications strategies, as well.

Staying on message in Venezuela was critical, not just on an enterprise-level, but personally, as well, Singleton said. According to her, Caracas was an environment where Americans were particularly scrutinized and any misstep- or misstatement- could justify being kicked out of country by the Chavez regime. “As a U.S. diplomat in Venezuela, where the government was hostile to us, the importance of message discipline became part of my professional DNA. That is the standard I hope to apply to all of the teams I work with now that I’m in the private sector.”

Since operating under the high-stakes conditions in Venezuela, putting this discipline into practice overseas and at home has now been Singleton’s MO for over a decade. Her government work took her all over South and Central America, with her last overseas tour in Mexico City on behalf of the Department of Justice.

“This was an incredibly interesting and challenging assignment,” Singleton said. “Mexico was undergoing an historic criminal justice reform and, since the U.S. government had advocated for and was involved in implementing it, we had to help explain the changes to the Mexican people and media alongside the Mexican government,” she explained. And beyond messaging to Mexican citizens, Singleton still had to advocate for specific legal reforms, communicate within the U.S. interagency about ongoing challenges and successes, and make the case to Congress for funding. “It was a complex problem set, but those are always the most rewarding,” she said.

According to her, that is precisely why she was originally drawn to foreign affairs and communications. Singleton, who caught the international bug as a 16 year-old studying abroad in Italy and in Russia during college, learned early the power of language and how we communicate with different people. “Knowing your audience is a big lesson when you live and work overseas. Some cultures are more formal than others, and some belief systems are part of the lifeblood. This isn’t that different from corporate America and what my clients today need help navigating,” Singleton explained.

A key to successfully navigating those challenges, as Singleton discovered in her foreign posts, was relationship building. “Even in a place like Venezuela, you have to remember that the other side is made up of human beings,” she said. “To this day, I am in touch with members of the regime and the interim government alike. I may not see eye to eye with them, but I recognize that dialogue is an important ingredient of resolution.”

According to Singleton, this is a large reason why she often proposes corporate social responsibility and stakeholder engagement components to her client strategies. “Particularly in the current climate of consumer expectations for brands and a Democrat-controlled House, companies are increasingly challenged to communicate their values,” she said. “Being purpose-driven is hugely important to our clients these days, but as a consultant, I also feel it’s important to walk the walk.”  And Singleton said this philosophy was a major factor in joining ROKK Solutions.

“The bipartisan angle is huge for me. [Ron] Bonjean and [Rodell] Mollineau are veteran D.C. communicators, and they teamed up because they believed the best solutions bring all stakeholders together. Besides just really liking each other, this is the principle that binds us,” said Singleton.

Spotlight

In The Battleground State of Michigan, Long Memories, New Dynamics
2020 Elections
In The Battleground State of Michigan, Long Memories, New Dynamics
September 19, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The hallmark of a true battleground state is that any one of a variety of factors can come into play and make a sure bet in the weeks leading up to the vote an “also ran” on election night. In that respect Michigan in... Read More

FBI Director Warns Congress of Evolving Terrorism Threats
Cybersecurity
FBI Director Warns Congress of Evolving Terrorism Threats
September 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The FBI’s director acknowledged Thursday that the risks of terrorism and other attacks against the United States are evolving so fast that his agency has difficulty managing them. Cyberattackers threaten the next presidential election, COVID-19 vaccine development and U.S. industries’ best research into new... Read More

Longtime House Parliamentarian Wickham Stepping Down
Congress
Longtime House Parliamentarian Wickham Stepping Down
September 17, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Tom Wickham is stepping down as parliamentarian of the House of Representatives at the end of the month, and will be replaced by Jason Smith, his current deputy parliamentarian. In announcing the change, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., described Wickham, who is only the... Read More

Problem Solvers Step Into Relief Bill Void to Offer Bipartisan Plan
Congress
Problem Solvers Step Into Relief Bill Void to Offer Bipartisan Plan
September 15, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of 50 centrist lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled a $1.5 trillion proposal they hope will end the current stalemate over new relief to bolster the coronavirus battered economy. The Problem Solvers Caucus, led by co-chairs Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Tom Reed,... Read More

Cities Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Protections
Supreme Court
Cities Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Protections
September 14, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Mayors and a coalition of leaders from smaller municipalities are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold protections against discrimination in the delivery of government services. The court is currently scheduled to hear the case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia... Read More

Presidential and Congressional Races Tightening Up In Pennsylvania
2020 Elections
Presidential and Congressional Races Tightening Up In Pennsylvania
September 12, 2020
by Dan McCue

It's going to be a close one. That's about the only reasonable thing anyone can say about the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania with less than 60 days remaining before Election Day. Most recent polling in the state gives former Vice President Joe Biden a slight... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top