Robin Koval leads Legacy®, the nation’s largest public health foundation devoted to the issue of tobacco use prevention and cessation. She joined Legacy as its second president and CEO in November 2013.
As a leader in the world of advertising and marketing for more than 25 years, her impressive background pairs up perfectly with the foundation’s public education mandate, particularly in relation to its innovative youth tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign truth®and the evolution of the program for a new generation of youth and the complexities of today’s communication landscape. Ms. Koval most recently served as the CEO of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, New York’s fifth largest advertising agency and previously was the co-founder of its predecessor, the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she grew from a fledgling start-up in 1997 to a billion-dollar agency devoted to brands in all major categories.
Committed to public service, she has developed campaigns and provided counsel to a number of nonprofit, cause-related and healthcare clients and organizations. With the Girl Scouts, she helped lead an award-winning campaign to encourage girls to stay involved in math, science and technology. On the issue of underage drinking, she led a campaign that encouraged parents to speak early to their children and young teens about the risks. Other efforts include projects with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Red Cross and work with childhood asthma.
Among her many awards, she was the 2011 recipient of the New York Women in Communications Matrix Award and a Women's Venture Fund Highest Leaf Award. She was also recognized in 2011 byAdvertising Ageas one of its “Most Influential Women in Advertising.”Self-Made Magazinehas also named Koval one of its Top 50 “Women Entrepreneurs Who Inspire,” and she has been honored with the “Working Mother of the Year Trailblazer Award” by Women of New York.
Ms. Koval is also a best-selling author. Her three collaborations with coauthor Linda Kaplan Thaler have all received national recognition. The titles of her books areThe Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness;The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the DifferenceandBang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World. She is a sought-after speaker, making appearances on network television programming like ABC’sGood Morning AmericaandNightline, NBC’sTodayandThe Martha Stewart Show.
Ms. Koval earned her BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Baruch College. She is a current member of the board of directors of Partnership With Children, a nonprofit organization that works with troubled and underserved children in the New York City school system by providing social and emotional learning services. She has also served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.