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Frank Discussions

At the intersection of business and education, Frank Discussions is a series of brief executive interviews with the leaders defining innovation and industry today and tomorrow. Hosted by Frank Hodge, the Orin & Janet Smith Endowed Dean at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business, Frank Discussions looks beyond the business decisions making headlines to shed light on how and why great leaders do what they do.

Diana Birkett Rakow

VP of External Affairs, Alaska Airlines

Diana Birkett,VP of External Affairs, Alaska AirlinesDiana Birkett Rakow leads Alaska Airlines’ public and government affairs, sustainability, community engagement, PR and internal communications – with teams in Seattle, San Francisco, Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington D.C. Together, they are responsible for advancing Air Group’s business growth, employee engagement, and legacy of responsibility and corporate citizenship. In her own words, her main goals are “…powering ideas, people, purpose and brands through trust and connection.”

Diana joined Alaska Airlines after almost two decades in health care and public health at Kaiser Permanente, Group Health, and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in Washington DC. Most recently, Diana served as vice president of public affairs, communications and brand management at Kaiser Permanente of Washington through its acquisition of Group Health, and as executive vice president of public affairs and marketing and president of the Group Health Foundation.

Diana holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and master’s degrees in public administration and public health from the University of Washington. In addition to the Greater Seattle Chamber, she serves on the boards of the Pacific Science Center and Association of Washington Business.

Past Frank Discussions

Ken Denman

Venture Partner & Board Member, Sway Ventures
Read the blog post here

Kevin Johnson

President & Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks
Read the blog post here

Erik Nordstrom

Chief Executive Officer, Nordstrom, Inc.
Read the blog post here

Stein Kruse

Group Chief Executive Officer, Holland America Group & Carnival UK
Read the blog post here

Phyllis Campbell

Chairman, Pacific Northwest, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Read the blog post here

Annie Young-Scrivner

CEO, GODIVA Chocolatier, Inc.
Read the blog post here

If you wish to suggest an executive, company or question for future Frank Discussions, please share your thoughts at [email protected].