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Cynthia McCafferty

President and CEO

An expert in strategy and integrated campaign management, Cynthia McCafferty joined Hawthorne Strategy Group in July 2015, and became president and CEO in February 2019. Previously, she was a senior vice president and senior partner at FleishmanHillard International Communications in St. Louis. In 2019, Cynthia was recognized as one of “Chicago’s Most Influential Women” by the Chicago Business Journal.

With two decades of experience, Cynthia has managed a diverse base of clients in areas such as thought-leadership, media relations, and issues management. Cynthia brings to Hawthorne a relentless commitment to client service and delivering results.

Previously, she was a senior vice president and senior partner at Fleishman-Hillard International Communications. Her clients have included as P&G, Clorox, Home Instead Senior Care, Genentech/Roche Pharmaceuticals, Bridgestone-Firestone, and 3M. Cynthia has also supported communications efforts related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in multiple states and is one of the nation’s most experienced communications professionals in this area.

Cynthia has deep experience building communications programs to meet her client’s business and organizational objectives.  For example, on behalf of McCormick Place, the Hawthorne team developed an updated identity to support the organization as it expands its footprint with the addition of new facilities. As part of the re-introduction, the team has successfully increased engagement with community influencers as well as generated positive local coverage as the new facilities come online later this year. 

Cynthia has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Saint Louis University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

An avid traveler and amateur chef, Cynthia is always ready for a cèilidh – a Gaelic term meaning an informal gathering of friends often referred to as a “kitchen party.” Her co-host is Pippi, a yellow lab named after Pippi Longstocking, in honor of Cynthia’s other favorite pastime, reading.