Michael Akin is president of LINK Strategic Partners, a national strategic communications and stakeholder engagement consulting firm proudly based in Washington, D.C., with team members in Phoenix, Cincinnati and St. Louis. LINK provides high-touch and high-tech expertise and personalized assistance in public and media relations, marketing and communications, community relations, branding, online engagement, digital strategy, event management, and creative services for corporate, government, nonprofit, and association clients. As president and founder of LINK, Mr. Akin oversees the firm’s hyperlocal work with hundreds of clients and partners across the country and around the world.
Mr. Akin’s community activities include serving as chairman emeritus of the Greater Washington Urban League board of directors. He also serves on the boards of Destination DC, Cultural Tourism DC, Think Local First, and the American Experience Foundation, and serves as a Leadership Council member for Raise DC and on the International Advisory Council for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership. He is regularly a featured presenter at national and international conferences on communications and engagement.
Prior to founding LINK, Mr. Akin was vice president of the community and government relations practice at Reingold Inc, a national communications firm headquartered in Alexandria, VA. He played a key role in two national campaigns for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. First, Mr. Akin led community-based outreach campaigns for the Veterans Crisis Line, leveraging partnership development and targeted advertising to pilot intensive local outreach strategies to prevent Veteran suicides. Additionally, he led the coordination of kickoff events in 20 media markets nationwide to launch the VA’s Homeless Veterans Outreach Campaign. In the two weeks after the launch, calls to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans were up 240 percent.
Previously, Mr. Akin served as The George Washington University’s assistant vice president of government, international, and community relations, overseeing and managing the university’s outreach to city, state, and federal officials and agencies; embassies; business, civic and cultural organizations; and community groups. Named GW’s first director of community relations in 2004, Mr. Akin made his office the university’s “go-to” resource for community and city residents who had partnerships to propose, challenges to address, or problems to resolve. His aggressive community relations work helped make GW a national model for building community partnerships and overcoming classic “town/gown” friction.
Mr. Akin received a 2006 GW Award—the university’s highest honor—for advancing GW’s mission in the Washington community with competence, integrity, and good will. In 2011, the Greater Washington Urban League recognized Mr. Akin with the Chairman’s Award for his work in advancing the League’s mission, and the DC City Council adopted a formal resolution to acknowledge his contributions to positive and collaborative community action. Mr. Akin was honored as Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce in 2015. In 2017, Mr. Akin received the prestigious Laura Lisner Award from the Lisner Louise Dixon Hurt Home for his work and advocacy on behalf of DC’s senior citizens.
Mr. Akin has an MBA from The George Washington University, where he also graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political communications. He lives with his beautiful and talented wife Wendi in Washington, DC.