Meet Michelle Rest

Michele leads Corporate Communications at Cortica, which designs and delivers comprehensive treatment programs for children with autism and their families. When she’s not using her storytelling skills to enhance her communications, you’ll find her running or traveling.

About Me

Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland

Current Residence: San Diego, California

IABC Member Since: August 2018

Favorite Quote:
“Live the story you want to tell.” – Unknown

When I’m not working, you could find me …
Traveling or running.

Three words that best describe me:
Optimistic, easy-going, adventurous. 

My Life in Communications

The biggest communications challenge I’ve faced …
Proving the value of communications to C-suite executives with science backgrounds.

My favorite communications memory is …
Working on the launch of a cure for hepatitis C. I had the opportunity to tell stories of people cured of the disease.

The most important communications or professional lesson I’ve learned is …
Embrace change and stay nimble.

Resources that I really find useful and recommend to other communicators are …
“The Art & Craft of PR” by Sandra Stahl, AP Stylebook, “Difficult Conversations – How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone et. al.

The most valuable thing about my membership with IABC is …

You should know this about me …
I recently relocated from San Francisco to San Diego.

Career Highlights

Current Job: Head of Corporate Communications at Cortica, which designs and delivers comprehensive treatment programs for children with autism and their families.

Previous Jobs:

  • Senior Director, Corporate Communication; Director, Corporate Communication; Director, Therapeutic Area Communication, Gilead Sciences, 2013-2018.
  • Vice President, Healthcare Practice, Waggener Edstrom, 2011-2012.
  • Director, Global Communications; Manager, Public Affairs, U.S. Human Health, Merck & Co., Inc., 2005-2011
  • Senior Account Supervisor, Account Supervisor, Dorland Global Health Communications (now Tonic Life Communications), 2002-2005
  • Account Supervisor, Senior Account Executive, Edelman and Weber Shandwick, 1998-2002