Give Marquette

Marquette University Alumni Association

Diederich College of Communication Recipients

Professional Achievement Award

Lisa Osborne Ross


Washington, D.C.

Lisa Osborne Ross expects excellence in everything. “Just ask my children and co-workers!” she says.

As executive vice president of the Cause Advocacy Group for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Lisa has spent more than 20 years excelling at reputation management for public- and private-sector organizations, designing and executing public affairs, branding and marketing campaigns for America’s Promise, the United Way of America, the Children’s Defense Fund, Pfizer, and the countries of Switzerland and the Netherlands, among others.

 “My job has allowed me to ‘Do good, and do well,’ ” says Lisa, repeating the words of former Marquette Law School Dean Howard B. Eisenberg. “In other words, by creating and heading the Cause Advocacy Group, I’m able to help individuals, companies, countries and causes share information their constituents need to improve their lives.”

Lisa’s work also satiates her love of puzzles — matchmaking needs and resources and seeing and feeling outcomes. She has solved puzzles for former President Bill Clinton, senior public officials in Democratic and Republican administrations, foreign governments, Fortune 100 CEOs, and nonprofit organizations. She co-founded and continues to serve on the Honorary Council for the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, which seeks to meet the critical needs of women and young girls by raising grant dollars dedicated to essential services and training.

“Most of all, what I learned at Marquette was the value and organic intersection of excellence, leadership, faith and service,” says Lisa, who has been named a “Top Five Industry Leader” by PR Week; “Woman of the Year” by Washington Women in Public Relations; and “Person of Substance and Style” by WashingtonLife and Saks Fifth Avenue.

She says: “My personal motto is love, serve and forgive. I seek to lead by example.”

Fun facts about Lisa:
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Favorite book: The Golden Counsels by St. Francis de Sales
Someone alive or dead she’d like to have dinner with: Her maternal grandfather, Rev. Joseph Wade Little, who died before she was born.
The Marquette faculty member who had an impact on her: George Reedy
Favorite Marquette memory: Beating Notre Dame at the buzzer during her freshman year, getting her Ivy pearls (becoming AKA) and going to Mass at Church of the Gesu.
In grade school, she wanted to be an attorney.
Most influential person in Lisa’s life: Her mother, Thelma Little Osborne