Doug Levy

About Doug Levy

“If there is ever an emergency, we want Doug in the room.”
Precision wordsmith Doug Levy has spent more than 20 years at the intersection of technology, science, health, policy, and ethics and now is a consultant to corporations, academic institutions, and other organizations on crisis communications and reputation management. As a freelance journalist, Doug writes mostly about health, science, and technology.  


He has worked with security teams and law enforcement to leverage social media for early warnings of potential issues and as a tool to prevent and mediate risks, including communications during emergencies. 


A true early adopter (his first computer was an Osborne-1) and innovator (first USA Today reporter with an email address,) Doug’s investigative reporting revealed tobacco industry secret research on cancer and addiction, mismanagement at celebrity-run charities, and conflicts of interest in medicine.


His ability to dig deep and recognize details that others miss enables him to identify potential crises and work with clients to minimize reputation loses or harmful backlash.

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Doug’s passion for community service led him to become a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in suburban Washington, D.C., and he now volunteers to help the New York City Police Department improve community relations and serves as vice president of the 34th Precinct Community Council.

After leaving USA Today at the end of 1999, Doug joined Fleishman-Hillard public relations, where he counseled technology, biotech, pharma and hospital companies on reputation management and helped navigate crises ranging from failed clinical trials to product recalls, industrial accidents, federal investigations, and corporate changes. In 2004, he became chief of staff and director of communications for David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner who was dean of medicine at UCSF from 2004-2008. Doug moved to New York in 2010 to become chief communications officer at Columbia University Medical Center. At UCSF and Columbia, Doug led efforts to integrate social media and other new approaches to communications for public safety. At UCSF, he helped increase awareness about emergency planning and increased compliance with the university’s emergency preparation standards by more than 30%.

Doug writes about health, science, and technology and consults on communications strategy, issues management, and emergency communications. His wide range of experience in multiple disciplines forms the backbone of Doug Levy Strategic Communications LLC, a new communications consultancy formed in 2015.

He is admitted to practice law in Maryland and is a member of the American Bar Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (PIO Section,) and the National Association of Science Writers.

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