About CSP

Company Overview

Cambridge Strategic Partners provides competitive business analysis and strategy, public policy, and communications strategy to professional services firms and Fortune 1000 companies who seek to educate and inform thought leaders nationally on Wall Street, Main Street and Capitol Hill. Unlike large, more generally focused agencies, the firm’s engagements are managed and largely implemented by Joy Howell who has a 25-year track record of experience in positioning clients with government decision-makers, financial industry leaders, and national print/broadcast journalists. Cambridge Strategic Partners is based in Washington, D.C.

The CSP Advantage

When clients encounter mission critical inflection points, moments when their business or industry is on the verge of major positive or negative change, company leaders must seize the opportunity. Cambridge specializes in managing the inflection points caused by litigation, regulation, and legislation. By crafting high impact messages and leveraging knowledge of business and public policy, Cambridge influences audiences, mobilizes constituencies, and obtains results. Focus, deep expertise, and tenacious determination to win distinguishes Cambridge Strategic Partners from all the rest.

Joy Howell, MBA, MPA

Managing Partner, Cambridge Strategic Partners

Joy Howell has an outstanding track record of leveraging assets for her clients. As managing partner of Cambridge Strategic Partners, she delves below the obvious to reveal untapped potential, drive a wide variety of targeted communications strategies, and effectively generate visibility in a competitive marketplace.

Ms. Howell’s business acumen and expertise encompasses public policy development, national media visibility campaigns, and business strategy. Prior to founding CSP, she directed the Office of Public Affairs of the Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. She served on the Chairman’s senior management team, managed 70 employees, and fielded over 40,000 media inquiries a year from national and international media. As a senior strategist for the agency, she re-positioned the FCC with national media and top policymakers in the White House and Capitol Hill. She served as a national Communications Director on a U.S. Presidential Campaign and is a veteran of more than 30 candidate political campaigns in multiple states including Texas, California, Kentucky, Delaware and Illinois. She conducted national and statewide public affairs campaigns in California (successful health care ballot initiative), Florida, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

Professional Experience

In the U.S. Senate, she was Communications Director to U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) who was then designated by Capitol Hill reporters as “the most nationally visible freshman senator in recent memory.” As President of Howell Communications Group, Washington, D.C./Los Angeles, she represented over 100 Fortune 1000 corporations and their trade associations. She developed Congressional media relations and public policy strategies for General Motors, Subaru and Kraft Industries. She implemented marketing plans for companies such as AT&T, Aetna, Frito Lay and PG&E. She has led a number of crisis communications engagements, resulting in preservation of brand or individual reputations despite adverse circumstances.

Her firm has created winning coalitions, spearheaded mass media and social media campaigns, and achieved excellent national media coverage for her clients. Her media initiatives have yielded Sunday public affairs program appearances, over 200 news/feature media placements for World Cup soccer, and prominently featured opinion articles published in national newspapers. (Most recently, she placed two opinion articles in The Hill newspaper, a must-read publication for Members of Congress on Capitol Hill). Key results include stopping a national bill in Congress that The Washington Post called “unstoppable,” achieving landmark legislation in Connecticut, overturning a popular Pennsylvania governor’s veto against all odds through multiple communications tactics, and designing a bilingual marketing strategy for a Los Angeles company that helped secure a state contract.
Recent client engagements include developing a business strategy and brand visibility initiative for a national financial rating firm, helping a client launch a new cryptocurrency rating division and designing a crisis communications program for a private college facing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Samples of other client work include:

  • implementing a government relations and public affairs campaign for law firms representing consumers;
  • building a national media profile for an investor-oriented publisher for seven years;
  • founding and serving as executive director of a trade association for a group of financial information publishers;
  • co-founding and conducting media relations/government relations for a national trade association for independent investor research firms;
  • conducting successful public relations campaigns for top national and international litigation firms;
  • founding and managing an Internet privacy and safety organization;
  • implementing government relations campaigns for alternative energy projects and patent legislation disputes;
  • building a consumer and victim’s rights coalition;
  • conducting a public affairs campaign to defeat state and national anti-victim legislation;
  • designing and implementing successful crisis communications campaigns for clients with local and national media challenges.
    Education and Academic Credentials
  • After completing her MBA at the University of Redlands, she studied public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and business at Harvard Business School. She earned a Master in Public Administration (MPA) with a focus on the nexus of business and public policy, with courses in international business, Internet privacy and security policy, corporate strategy, international marketing, corporate governance, and change management. Studies in international business at Cambridge University, England, inspired her MBA thesis on the European Monetary Union (Great Britain: Reluctant Bride in the European Monetary Union). She has been an instructor and guest lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, George Washington University, and the University of Texas.

Awards, Honors, Elected Office
A partial list of awards, honors and elected positions includes:

  • Board Member, Public Citizen;
  • Past Board Member, University of Texas at Austin, College of Communications;
  • Chairman’s Award, Federal Communications Commission;
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, University of Redlands;
  • Distinguished Service Award, Austin City Council;
  • Executive Vice President, Student Government, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government;
  • Past Town Commissioner, Dewey Beach, Delaware.