Coca-Cola executive to teach at GSPM next semester

One of Coca-Cola’s highest-ranking officials is slated to join the faculty at the Graduate School of Political Management next semester.

Thomas Mattia, a senior vice president of worldwide public affairs and communications at Coca-Cola, will retire from his post and begin teaching a course at GW on management and crisis communications as part of the school’s master’s degree program in strategic public relations.

Mattia, who is 60 years old and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rutgers, has held senior positions at Ford Motor Company and IBM before joining Coca-Cola three years ago.

“I was thinking of retiring from Coca-Cola, but not from life,” Mattia said of his decision to take up teaching. “It fit with a lot of what I’ve done in my career. I like GW. It’s a great university and has a great communications school.”

Mattia started his career as a journalist and has been working as a business professional for 38 years. He said he felt it was time to start something new.

“I’ve been fortunate to get to significant senior levels in my profession and the opportunity to teach allows me to give back a little bit,” he said. “I’ve always considered myself a teacher and a mentor, so this is just a natural extension of that.”

Ann Collier, the president of Collier Consulting, will also join GSPM.

Collier worked as an executive at Circuit City for 16 years before founding Collier Consulting, where she led the investor relations and corporate communications functions as vice president.

Both professors were hired to keep professionals involved in GSPM’s curriculum, said Larry Parnell, the director of the strategic public relations program.

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