John Saunders is president and CEO of public relations giant FleishmanHillard and was Irish America’s 2016 Business 100 keynote speaker. Saunders began his career as a journalist at RTÉ. In 1990, he founded FleishmanHillard Saunders and helped it develop into Ireland’s largest and most successful public relations consultancy, earning more awards than any other firm during his tenure. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO of FleishmanHillard, he served as regional president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa for four years.
Saunders is only the fourth individual to hold his current title in FleishmanHillard’s 70-year history. In 2007, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Public Relations Institution of Ireland and was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame in 2011.
A native of Dublin, Saunders has been married to his wife, Jean, for 36 years. Together they have three children, Colin, Caroline, and Hannah, and one granddaughter, Matilda. He currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and this year was grand marshal of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.