Paul Critchlow,
Honorary Committee Member

Paul Critchlow served more than 30 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as long-time head of communications & public affairs and then as the firm’s senior relationship banker with governors, mayors and treasurers around the United States. He worked directly for five CEOs, providing executive counsel and overseeing brand management.

Over the past 50 years, Critchlow has held leadership roles in journalism, politics and business. Today, he advises senior executives at Fortune 100 companies through his strategic communications firm, Black Cat Communications, LLC.

Prior to being named Vice Chairman, Public Markets at Bank of America in 2003, Critchlow served for 18 years as head or deputy head of Communications & Public Affairs at Merrill Lynch, responsible for all global internal and external communications. He helped lead responses to the market crash of 1987, the tech stock collapse in 2000, and the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Before joining Merrill Lynch in 1985, Critchlow worked in journalism and government. From 1978-84, he was press secretary to Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh, helping direct the state’s response to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. From 1972-77, he was an award-winning chief political writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Paul Critchlow served moreFrom 1964-68, Critchlow, an Omaha native, was a member of the University of Nebraska football team. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1971 from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a master’s degree in journalism in 1972 from Columbia University.

From 1968-70, he served in the U.S. Army, receiving a Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart during a combat tour in Vietnam.


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