Cristal N. Downing

by Justin Cates
Cristal N. Downing
EVP, Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer
Merck & Co.

Cristal N. Downing is Executive Vice President and Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer for Merck.

Downing is responsible for the development, advancement and execution of the company’s communications, public affairs, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. She is focused on fostering a deep understanding of Merck’s scientific contributions and impact on global health, ensuring public policy priorities stay aligned with business priorities, and enabling strategic engagement and impactful outcomes with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders.

Prior to Merck, Downing served as Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, Medical Devices, and Vice President of Global Finance Communications for Johnson & Johnson, where she also co-led the development and implementation of the company’s racial and social justice strategy.

In addition, Downing has held senior positions within American Express, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Downing is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House of Central & Northern New Jersey and is affiliated with several key communications associations. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Monmouth University.

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