Vice President of Communications at Walmart to Speak at University of Georgia

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will host David Tovar, vice president of communications at Walmart, as a part of the Advertising and Public Relations Leadership Lecture Series on April 17 at 4 p.m. in room 412 at Grady College.

Tovar currently provides strategic direction and oversight for Walmart’s crisis communications, executive communications, consumer and brand public relations, global e-commerce communications, digital and social media, financial and legal communications and corporate social responsibility communications. Tovar is sponsored by Grady College as a Hearst Visiting Professional in Residence.

His presentation, “Managing the 24-hour news cycle: Walmart communications and reputation,” will address his professional responsibilities and practices in the corporate communication industry.

As a corporate officer, Tovar provides guidance to Walmart’s CEO and executive council on topics beyond public relations. He is regarded as a valuable counselor with a keen understanding of the business as well as current marketplace opportunities and challenges. Previously, he was vice president of communications for Walmart U.S., where he managed all of the business unit’s internal and external communications and served as a member of the Walmart U.S. executive leadership team.

Tovar joined Walmart in 2006 and has more than 17 years of media relations, government affairs and issue management experience. Prior to his current role, Tovar was senior director of media relations and digital communications where he served as the lead national spokesperson for the company. Tovar led efforts surrounding environmental sustainability, health care and community giving. He also managed financial, legal and crisis communications, which he continues to oversee in his current role.

“As the communications leader for one of the world's largest retailers, David Tovar has a wealth of experiences to share,” said Bryan Reber, Grady professor of public relations. “From consumer relations to corporate responsibility to crisis communication, David can provide great insight for anyone interested in corporate communication.”

Before joining Walmart, Tovar was director of corporate and government affairs for Kraft Foods, Inc. In this position, Tovar directed a team that managed all corporate and government affairs activities for Kraft's North American snacks, cereals, cheese, dairy and beverage sectors, including media relations, crisis communications, federal and state government affairs, public relations, and issues management.

Tovar graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the communications committees for the National Retail Federation and the Business Roundtable.

Date: April 8, 2014
Author:  Samantha Slappey,
Contact:  Sarah Freeman,