Willard D. Nielsen
Bill Nielsen retired as Corporate Vice President of Johnson & Johnson in December 2004, after a nearly 16-year career with the Company. He was responsible for public relations and corporate communications for the worldwide health care products company, and he served as an Officer of the Corporation. He is currently a special consultant to the Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson.
Mr. Nielsen joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, following an 18-year career as a public relations agency consultant, first with Carl Byoir & Associates, from 1970 to 1986, and then Hill and Knowlton.
From the corporation’s headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson’s public relations and corporate communications division oversees the public affairs responsibilities and activities of a widely diversified and decentralized “family” of 200+ operating companies in 57 countries around the world.
Mr. Nielsen’s professional accomplishments include leadership of an eight-year public relations and advertising education program for the pharmaceutical industry, and a nationwide child injury prevention campaign, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. This campaign has reduced the annual rate of unintended injury and death among children by nearly 30 percent.
Mr. Nielsen continues to be active in the leadership of professional organizations in the field of public relations. He served two terms as president of the Arthur W. Page Society and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in September 2003. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Public Relations Seminar. He also chaired the board of the Institute for Public Relations Research and Education and served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Global Public Affairs Institute. He continues to serve on the Board of The Arthur W. Page Society and on The Committee of The Public Relations Seminar, and is a member of, The Wisemen, the National Press Club, the Foreign Press Association and the Public Relations Society of America. He has won four PRSA Silver Anvils. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Josephson Institute of Ethics. In October 2003, Mr. Nielsen held the honor of delivering the Distinguished Vernon C. Schranz Lecture at Ball State University.
Mr. Nielsen also is a Trustee of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation of Children’s Hospital, National Medical Center, Washington, D.C., for eight years.
Mr. Nielsen is a native of Sacramento, California. Following graduation from Oregon State University, he served for five years as a public information officer with the U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C., and Japan. He is married and is the father of three daughters.