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Pamela Baker-Masson

Director of Communications
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles


As director of communications for the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Pamela Baker-Masson oversees the Zoo's traditional and digital media, website, community relations, special projects, marketing, advertising and diplomatic relations. She is a member of the senior leadership team and serves as a liaison for communications to central Smithsonian departments.

Since joining the Zoo in April 2007, Baker-Masson has directed numerous integrated and multi-platform communications programs to support the Zoo's conservation mission to save species. She creates and implements strategic media initiatives, develops social media platforms, innovates special revenue-generating projects with Smithsonian commercial enterprises, oversees several electronic publications, and serves as a spokesperson. Baker-Masson has also served as head of exhibits. In 2016, her communications team was awarded the Public Relations Society of America’s Bronze Anvil Commendation for the #pandastory campaign. In 2014 she was inducted into the PR News Platinum Hall of Fame, received a 2014 Bronze CLIO for the pioneering Endangered Song project and the 2014 Smithsonian Secretary's Excellence Award, Spirit of Innovation. Additional awards include 2013 PR News' Social Media Icon and 2011 PR News Platinum Award for the Amphibian Rescue PR Campaign.

Baker-Masson's cumulative experience in communications, media relations, development and marketing, along with her background with international programs has led her to work in numerous arenas across the globe. She has served as director of communications for the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education/Joint Oceanographic Institutions, consultant for United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, and manager of public affairs for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Prior to her arrival to the Zoo, Pamela was director for community outreach and public affairs at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, where she initiated numerous in-country academic and networking programs.

She earned her professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America and earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her international education includes studies at the University of London in England and the Sorbonne in Paris. She has lived or traveled extensively throughout Asia, North America, Africa and Europe.