Barbara Semedo

Barbara Semedo
Deputy Executive Director, External Affairs and Strategic Communications

Barbara Semedo is CLASP’s Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Strategic Communications. Her role includes leading our work in strategic communications and helping to strengthen CLASP’s external affairs/outreach capacity.
Barbara is a highly skilled communications executive who brings a broad range of senior level leadership experience. She has built and managed results-oriented communications and media relations teams in the public/government sector as well as for major national philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Her expertise is in strategic communications and media relations. She’s had a successful career building and leveraging media relations at all levels, including print, broadcast and new media. She is a “hands-on” leader who understands how to use integrated communications strategies to support organizations that want to enhance and build their brand and visibility.  

Most recently, Barbara has been a communications manager with the U.S. Ocean Conservation project at Pew Charitable Trusts. Prior to that role, she was the director of communications for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. She also held senior communications positions at GMMB, a D.C.-based strategic communications firm, and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she handled media relations for education initiatives. Barbara has also served as a strategic advisor to several D.C. non-profit organizations interested in developing and sharing their “story” to enhance brand visibility and engage new audiences. 

She served for eight years in the Clinton administration as a senior communications director and primary spokesperson at several major federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Agency for International Development, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the Department of Commerce. She also worked for the White House as deputy director for communications for the President Clinton’s Initiative on Race.

Barbara began a 20-year successful career as a local television news reporter working several major large news markets including New Haven, Louisville, Cleveland and Washington, D.C. Her outstanding national reporting work resulted in a local News Emmy Award nomination in 1992. She is a graduate of Simmons College in Boston where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications.