Former Executive Speechwriter Now Faculty Member Sean Gresh Keeps Skills Sharp

March 17, 2014

A career as a speechwriter for chief executive officers and stints as the communications lead for IBM’s Global Public Sector and scriptwriting for “CBS Sixty Minutes” does not end when a professional writer and communicator begins teaching at the College of Professional Studies.

Sean Gresh, a faculty member in the Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication degree program, recently published a speech in Vital Speeches of the Day , the most prestigious publication of speeches. Gresh’s speech, “Smart, Sustainable Cities: The Backbone of a Civilized World” was delivered to the Ipswich Rotary Club in late 2013. About the art of speech-writing, David Murray, editor of Vital Speeches, says, “speeches are the oldest, and thus most elegant, form of mass communication.

The speech appears in the same issue of Vital Speeches of the Day (November 2013) as two speeches by President Barack Obama, and speeches by Peter Voser, the chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, Joe Manual Barroso, president of the European Commission and Linda McMahon, former chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment and Connecticut’s Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2012. Vital Speeches of the Day began publishing in 1935.

In his speech, Gresh contends that the urbanization of the globe is “both an emblem of our economic and societal progress—especially for the world’s emerging nations—and a huge strain on the planet’s infrastructure. That strain touches areas that include, security, public safety, water, transportation, an aging population, the environment, economic development, job growth, education, training, and the list goes on.”

And, while the growth of cities is challenging, Gresh sees the good in them: “Cities are the backbone of a civilized world. They are the result of the extraordinary collaboration of people, governments, businesses, schools, universities, and other entities. They are also the incubators and transmitters of ideas and have long been valued as the engines of economic growth.”

The solutions are found in “smart cities,” using data analysis to reduce waste and costs, and sustainability efforts from reducing energy use to protecting water, and the overarching dynamic of collaboration between government, business and non-profit organizations to solve complex problems. Gresh includes examples ranging from the Hudson River in New York state to Rio de Janeiro to Singapore that he says will “help create a fertile environment for sustainable growth.”

Gresh joined the faculty in 2013 after more than 25 years in the communications field and continues to consult on executive and internal communications.