Walmart taps former Bush counselor as EVP, corporate affairs

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has appointed Dan Bartlett, former senior counselor to George W. Bush, as its EVP of corporate affairs. Bartlett was most recently president and CEO of the U.S. arm of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global business advisory firm serving corporations, nonprofits and associations in 52 countries.

Bartlett will report to president and CEO Mike Duke, and will serve as a member of the company's executive council. His responsibilities will include overseeing external communications, government relations and sustainability, as well as the Walmart Foundation, which contributed more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind donations last year.

"Dan's personal integrity, strong professional skills and broad understanding of world affairs make him the ideal leader to continue moving us forward,” said Duke. “He has had key roles in government and at a major communications company. He has also counseled a wide range of multinational corporate clients in areas such as growth strategy, crisis management and public opinion. He is known for being straightforward, a good listener and collaborative – all traits that will serve him well at Walmart."

At Hill+Knowlton, Bartlett helped lead the firm's international growth and managed its day-to-day operations. He provided strategic counsel to the company's largest accounts, which represent key industries, including finance, telecommunications and defense. He has also helped multinational companies and NGOs build and align their sustainability, public policy and philanthropic programs.

"Growing up in a small Texas town, I've seen first-hand the opportunity Walmart provides and the positive impact it can have on local communities," said Bartlett. "Now, Walmart is in a unique position to make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world. I am honored and excited to be part of that.”

As a senior counselor to George W. Bush, Bartlett was responsible for all aspects of the then president's strategic communications planning, formulation of policy and implementation of the presidential agenda. He also oversaw the White House press office and the offices of communications, media affairs and speechwriting and global communications. Bartlett also played a key role in George W. Bush's presidential and Texas gubernatorial campaigns.   

Bartlett has a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently an adjunct professor at the university's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Bartlett, his wife Allyson and their four young sons will be moving to northwest Arkansas.