Vice President, Communications and Government Relations
Jay DeFrank is vice president, Communications & Government Relations, at Pratt & Whitney. He leads Pratt & Whitney worldwide internal and external communications, including public relations, social media, employee communications, visual media services, advertising and branding, public affairs and communications in support of sales and marketing. A member of the P&W Executive Committee, Jay reports to President Paul Adams.
He joined United Technologies Corp. in 2006 as communications director for Chairman and CEO Louis Chênevert, and assumed his current position at Pratt & Whitney in 2008. Before joining UTC, Jay founded a think tank for the Space Foundation in Washington, D.C., and directed the foundation's Washington operations.
During 30 years of active duty service in the U.S. Air Force, he directed media relations for the Air Force and later for the Department of Defense, where he was a key architect of the Iraq War news media embed program. He directed all communications for the Air Force in Europe, the Levant and sub-Saharan Africa, and finished his career working for the Secretary of the Air Force, directing the full spectrum of Air Force communications and managing a career field of approximately 5,000 communicators. He served as chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association's Communications Council in 2012, and was chairman of the steering group for the "Second to None" campaign.
DeFrank graduated from Southern Connecticut State University magna cum laude with a degree in journalism. He earned a master's degree with distinction from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication, where he concentrated on the impact of emerging communication technologies. He received his doctorate from the University of Colorado, where he focused on using media, interest groups and third-party experts to drive policy agendas. There, DeFrank taught advanced communications strategies and tactics at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also taught media and national security at the graduate level for Georgetown University's strategic studies program. He has lectured on strategic communications at leading universities and major domestic and international industry and government conferences. In addition, he edited the professional journal Communications Law and Policy.