Three Key Principles to Level Up with PhRMA's Tom Wilbur

This spring, Tom Wilbur, the Senior Director of Public Affairs at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and an MSU StratCom alumni, sat down to share in a conversation about moving up in your career, the future of communications, and how our program delivered him a tangible skillset.  

Wilbur leads his organization's strategic development and execution of polling, research, and messaging.

Prior to joining PhRMA, he served as a senior aide on Capitol Hill and on political campaigns for eight years. Most recently he led communications, campaigns, and strategy for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. health, telecommunications, energy, environment, commerce, manufacturing, and trade policy. He began his career as an intern for U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He also served as Michigan Senate Page.

Wilbur earned his master’s degree in strategic communications, with a concentration in organizational leadership, from Michigan State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and social science from Central Michigan University and the Pharmaceutical Management Executive Certificate from Rutgers Business School.

Tom lives in Washington D.C., but is a native of Okemos, Michigan – so he was back in his hometown area to speak for Level Up.

The three key principles:

  1. Self-awareness is important. Jump at opportunities but know your strengths and keep them at the center of your career.
  2. An important part to moving up in your career is finding mentors and allies. Teamwork and networking add up overtime.
  3. Communications is an ever-evolving field. It’s important to understand the communications landscape today, but also pay attention to where it’s heading.

Additional Resources:


Learn More

More Level Up Episodes

Corporate Partnerships

Organizational Leadership Certificate

StratCom M.A. Program