American Jewish World Service Names Stuart Schear Vice President for Communications

New York, NY; July 30, 2012— American Jewish World Service (AJWS) announced today that it has appointed Stuart Schear to serve as its Vice President for Communications. Schear brings 30 years of communications experience to AJWS, where he will direct all communications activities to advance AJWS’s global mission, inspired by Judaism’s commitment to justice, to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world.

Schear’s career has spanned international and domestic communications, philanthropy, advocacy, politics, and policy with a focus on guaranteeing access to health care for vulnerable people. Most recently, Schear served as the president of his own communications firm, which supported the efforts of organizations dedicated to advancing the health care needs of low-income Americans, people with HIV/AIDS, older adults, and people at risk for suicide. Before founding his company, Schear served as the Vice President for Communications of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), where he led the communications team that helped defeat efforts by members of Congress in 2011 to bar Planned Parenthood from being reimbursed by federal programs for providing breast exams and other preventive health care services to women.

“At a time when digital communications makes it possible for AJWS to join with millions of people worldwide to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world, we are delighted to have someone with Stuart Schear’s expertise in using communications to achieve social justice join our team,” said AJWS President Ruth Messinger. “Stuart Schear’s broad experience has prepared him to engage our grantees, staff, and supporters in the United States and around the world in this crucial work.”

Earlier in his career, Schear worked as a journalist, a member of the staff of the White House Press Office, and the director of major health care advocacy campaigns and projects for three of the most prominent philanthropies active in the United States.

Schear reported on major health stories, including the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, as a health care journalist for the PBS NewsHour and NBC News. At the White House, Schear managed the television news interview operation for the Clinton Administration in 1996 and 1997. While working for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Schear created and managed two major national advocacy campaigns: the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School-Campaign, which connected low-income families to health care coverage for their children through the Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance programs, and Cover the Uninsured Week, the largest ongoing campaign to draw attention to plight of Americans, who have no health care coverage.

While working for the Atlantic Philanthropies, Schear made and managed a $26 million grant to Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the largest progressive coalition that campaigned for the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Schear also worked with human rights and health care organizations supported by Atlantic in Vietnam, South Africa, Ireland, and other countries to bolster their use of communications.  As the Director of Communications for the Markle Foundation, he led the effort to promote Katrina Health, an online disaster relief service that connected evacuees of Hurricane Katrina with their electronic prescription medication histories. 

Schear has won many awards and honors. In 1994, he was named a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow in Health Reporting.  Schear was named non-profit PR Professional of the Year in 2002, and he and the team he led for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation were awarded the 2000 David Ogilvy Award by the Advertising Research Foundation for market research for the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign.

Schear received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1979 and his M.A. from the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University in 1984.

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