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Collaboration and Consensus: Pam Bailey Profile

Karen A. Newman

Due to a heavy travel schedule, Pam Bailey hasn’t been able to make her 5 a.m. swimming practice as regularly as she likes, but she isn’t complaining. With a career that includes work with three different presidential administrations in the White House’s West Wing, the former competitive swimmer is no stranger to long hours and a commitment to staying until the job is done.

Pamela G. Bailey took over as president and CEO of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) on April 4, 2005, succeeding E. Edward Cavanaugh who retired after 22 years in the top job. It seems a rather daunting proposition to move into a job held for more than two decades by your predecessor, and Bailey acknowledged Cavanaugh’s contributions to the industry.

“I moved into this position quite humbly. I learned very early in my career ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ That’s been my watchword here,” she said. “Ed left a tremendous legacy and an association that is highly respected not only in Washington but among its members, and I don’t bear that responsibility lightly.” As she sees it, her challenge is to maintain what Cavanaugh built and to make certain the association is around to meet the challenges of the future in a similarly successful way. To do it, she’ll call on a wealth of experience and a sense of purpose honed in the pressure cooker known as ‘the District.’

Early Influences

Bailey’s years in the White House began in the Nixon administration, in the office of research and speech writing. Later, she headed the office of research before moving on to the domestic council, where she was the person on the president’s staff responsible for health care policy. “My first White House job was my first job out of college, and it was an excellent learning experience, not only for the caliber of people I worked with, but also the approach to work and problem solving.”

In her job doing research for Presidential speeches and working with speech writers such as William Safire, David Gergen, Pat Buchanan and Ben Stein, she learned that failure is not an option, that one had to meet the demands of work no matter what the time requirement or previous plans—and that successful work outcomes are based on teamwork. Her last position in the Nixon White House was assistant director of the Domestic Council, responsible for health, welfare, aging and social security policies. She served, she said, as “the honest broker between the cabinet departments and others in the White House in presenting policy options for decision-making. Again, the theme of teamwork and the importance of developing consensus was a necessity.”

In 1981, she was nominated by President Reagan to serve as assistant secretary for public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1983, she rejoined the White House staff as special assistant to the President and deputy director of the White House Office of Public Affairs. While there, she initiated the Office of Communications Planning.

At the White House. Bailey developed what she called an appreciation for the governmental process and the importance of a strong FDA. Perhaps more importantly, however, it was there that she gained an appreciation for the importance of advocacy and communication in building support for policy initiatives. The Nixon and Reagan administrations had important processes in place for developing strategy collegially and in a multidisciplinary way, Bailey said, and it is that sort of process that she would like to build at CTFA.

Acknowledging that the CTFA staff is highly respected for its strength in legal, regulatory and scientific matters, she has worked over the past several months to build a similar expertise in government affairs and communications. Her White House experience showed her that while an organization may have the best policies in the world, without strong strategic underpinnings in legislative or government affairs, and an understanding of how to communicate them effectively, the organization is not going to be successful.

High-profile Hires

So, with all that in mind, Bailey took steps last year to enhance the CTFA’s government affairs team. John Hurson left government service to join CTFA as executive vice president of government affairs. He had served as a state representative in the Maryland General Assembly since 1991. “John Hurson,” Bailey said “has a remarkable record of leadership as one of the foremost state legislators in the country. His combination of legislative and leadership experience, as well as his in-depth knowledge of health care issues concerning all Americans, make him an important addition to CTFA’s government affairs team.”

Also joining the team was Washington operative Elvis Oxley, named senior director, government affairs. In his last job, Oxley was executive director of a prominent political organization in Washington, and has extensive experience in corporate marketing and communications. When announcing his hiring, Bailey said “Elvis Oxley combines a sophisticated understanding of Washington and Capitol Hill with a demonstrated track record of savvy business marketing. His 10 years of experience in business, public affairs and grassroots development will make him an important part of CTFA’s legislative outreach team.”

CTFA veteran Mike Thompson stays on the team, taking on the role of senior vice president of government affairs.

Bailey also gave her communications team a little more muscle, hiring Washington communications professional Kathleen Dezio to be executive vice president of public affairs and communications. Dezio came to CTFA from the American Beverage Association where she served as vice president of communications. Before that, she held the same post at The McGinn Group, where she provided strategic communications counsel to lawyers and their corporate clients facing legal challenges.

Collaborative Exchange

Bailey is no stranger to challenge herself. She built a 30-year career in health care public policy and communication, from which she developed a strong appreciation for political advocacy in support of business objectives—both in the United States and abroad. She was president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) for six years before joining CTFA. She notes that both the medical devices industry and the consumer personal care industry are extremely innovative, and she appreciates the many similarities between them—including a necessary understanding of what consumers want, the challenges of developing products in an increasingly short product life cycle, getting products to market and expanding business globally. The similarities don’t end there. Bailey has observed that outside the United States, just as it is in the United States with the FDA, the agencies that regulate the cosmetics industry are the same ones that regulate the medical devices industry in a given country. The agencies regulating the two industries are the same in Japan, in China and in France, for example. They have the same questions and the same challenges, including resource challenges that are seen at the FDA. “Every market that is important to this industry and that I worked on in the medical devices industry is searching for a way to balance regulation with consumer concerns and requirements to be protected,” she said.

Industry’s role in facilitating the global exchange of information is important, whether it concerns regulatory structures or the requirements an industry has for maintaining incentives for innovation to be able to bring products to market in an affordable way. The FDA, said Bailey, tends to be seen as the gold standard. “We have a responsibility to share our experiences and the information we have,” she said. “We also have a responsibility to collaborate with our partners in trade associations outside the United States.”

Global Understanding

When Marc Pritchard, CTFA board chairman and president, global cosmetics and retail hair color, Procter & Gamble, announced Bailey’s hiring, he stated that she understands the importance of doing business on a global basis and how it impacts industry and consumers. Bailey points again to the similarities between CTFA and AdvaMed in that both industries’ products cross borders, and both industries operate in multiple markets around the world. The challenges are in understanding the consumer and seeking the appropriate balance of regulation so that innovation can continue. “It’s working in a collaborative way with our industry partners globally,” said Bailey. “We’re no longer U.S.-centric.”

She points to AdvaMed’s collaborative process with the European, French and Japanese associations as an example, and said she has found the same opportunity in this industry. In meetings with her counterparts in Europe, China and Japan, she has found the same determination to work with the regulatory agencies in a collegial way to find a path toward rationalization of regulation. “Companies need consistency of regulation, they need transparency, they need to understand what the requirements are and, ideally, there should be minimal variation from market to market,” said Bailey. “In the device sector, we had a process in place and it worked very well.” CTFA has embarked on an analysis of that process, and, in January, hosted a meeting of industry counterparts from the associations outside the United States to review processes and select one to be put in place to allow similar achievements in this industry.

Another focus for Bailey at AdvaMed was making sure FDA had the resources it needed to do its job well, a challenge for the consumer personal care industry as well. Federal appropriations are limited and they are not increasing, said Bailey, yet this industry needs a strong FDA. She explained that the Cosmetics program at FDA is part of the Center for Food and Nutrition. The Federal budget is under so much stress that with the food safety program in need of new resources, Federal appropriations for the Cosmetics progam continue to weaken. In the past, CTFA lobbied the appropriations committee in Congress for additional funds for FDA, but that is not a feasible option in the current environment, according to Bailey.

At AdvaMed, she led the effort to enact legislation imposing user fees on medical technology companies, enabling FDA to approve their device applications sooner. The pharmaceutical industry enacted similar fees in the mid-1990’s. However, user fees are not an appropriate model for the cosmetic industry, she said. AdvaMed’s model may not be appropriate for the personal care industry, but Bailey believes the CTFA has a track record of innovation and thinking outside the box when it comes to solving problems such as this.

“I don’t know of any process that is as innovative as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR),” she said. “There is nothing else like that, and it is something that I think the industry has a very proud record of having developed 30 years ago.” CIR is the model open program for cosmetic industry self-regulation that subjects cosmetic ingredients to the scrutiny of an expert panel bent on ensuring product safety. The expert panel has reviewed more than 1,200 cosmetic ingredients in its 30 years. CIR safety assessments are published annually in the CIR Compendium and in monographs available to anyone who may be interested.

The challenge now, Bailey said, is to think outside the box in a similarly creative way to work with FDA in identifying the path toward providing resources while maintaining this industry’s strong record of self-regulation.

Setting the Standard

On a recent trip to China, Bailey noticed that the products for sale in stores were the same ones CTFA member companies are selling in the United States and Europe. It confirmed her notion that CTFA members are setting the standard as an industry globally—and in the world’s most global industry at that. She observed that when you combine that with the contributions of those companies that make it possible for customers to feel better about themselves in addition to having an impact on culture and creating economic opportunity, you have an industry with a global impact that can’t be matched. “You combine that global impact with our innovation on product and packaging, on understanding the consumer, and I don’t think there is an industry that is more focused on consumer marketing or one that I can imagine feeling better about,” said Bailey As she approaches her first anniversary with CTFA, Bailey still gets excited about going to work. Her plan for her early days as president and CEO was to build her team so that the CTFA had just as strong capacity internally in advocacy as it had historically in science, regulatory and legal affairs, and it seems she is well on her way to achieving that goal. “As a woman , a mother of four daughter and someone who personally, throughout my entire career, has benefited from the products that our industry makes available to women,” said Bailey, “I couldn’t be more pleased and honored to be part of this great industry.”

Bailey believes that similar challenges demand similar solutions, and she knows that can’t be achieved without talking and comparing notes. So, she has worked to build a communications infrastructure at CTFA that makes it possible for the organization to work with company counterparts outside the United States and with association counterparts in every key market. To that end, the veteran White House communicator rounded out her hiring activity last year with the appointment of Francine Lamoriello as executive vice president for global strategies. Lamoriello served as senior international and business strategy advisor at Baker, Donelson, PC; as senior director of international trade and investment services at KPMG Peat Marwick; and as director for European internal market affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Francine Lamoriello is a top international trade and policy expert, and has worked with industry leaders in China, Europe and all across the globe,” said Bailey. “We are truly one of the world’s most global industries, and Francine will quickly become a leader in our worldwide efforts to seek fair and consistent regulations and public policies, and to expand international market opportunities for our members.”

Her trip to China also showed Bailey that the impact of a global personal care industry goes well beyond the availability of products. It makes no difference she said, if you are a consumer in China or the United States or Europe. The personal care industry not only helps people feel better about themselves, but creates economic opportunity for many. Department stores in China sell products made by CTFA member companies whether they are U.S.-based, Japanese or French. For Bailey, that means the CTFA really is the organization where these companies meet to exchange perspectives, to collaborate on strategies and to meet challenges.

As she has gotten to know the industry as something other than a consumer, she has noticed just how hard it works at creating consumer choice and understanding how rapid the product life cycle is. “That is a very key focus at CTFA,” said Bailey. “We have to enable that response to consumer demand in choice, in quality, in new product development. We have to allow those innovations to continue as rapidly as the company can develop them and get them out to the consumer, and we can’t let regulations stand in the way.”

So, just how does an industry association make that happen? Bailey believes the key is consistent regulation, with predictability and transparency—not only in the United States but, ideally, globally from market to market. She believes that the industry association has a responsibility to do a better job of telling the story about the science behind members’ products and about the incredible investment in R&D and in science talent, as well as the high scientific standards behind product development. Bailey believes this industry has a powerful story, and said it is a story the CTFA will be very focused on telling completely and as widely as possible in 2006.

One group the CTFA will be telling its story to is the U.S. Congress. The personal care industry is fortunate, Bailey believes, because, as an industry, it is not a political football. It has not come under scrutiny by Congress, and she plans to keep it that way. What it is, she said, is an industry that makes products that every member of Congress experiences every single day—using eight to 10 products on average according to Bailey—but it also is an industry with an economic impact as employers and traders of economic opportunity. “We are going to be looking at ways to tell that story in Congress and to make sure that it understands the presence we have in the Congressional districts,” said Bailey.

The industry may not often find itself in the federal spotlight, but it does have concerns about regulatory activities and other conditions seen as threats to innovation and growth. Chief among these, Bailey believes, are regulatory certainty, maintaining a strong FDA and regulatory oversight that is not duplicated at the state level more than is necessary. With that in mind, CTFA will be “very focused on efforts in California to work to implement in a fair and balanced way the legislation that passed these,” said Bailey. In addition, CTFA will work with Congress and with FDA to be sure FDA has the resources it needs and that Congress protects its authority. Plans also include building greater awareness of the CIR process and keeping that process strong.

Bailey also is proud of industry support for Look Good … Feel Better, and she is committed to seeking new and innovative ways to take its message to a wider audience. Look Good … Feel Better is the industry-supported free program dedicated to helping women being treated for cancer to manage appearance-related effects of that treatment. The annual Dream Ball, organized by the American Cancer Society and supported financially by the cosmetic and personal care products industry, raised a record $2.6 million in 2005 in support of Look Good … Feel Better. The funds will be distributed among the American Cancer Society’s Eastern Division, the American Cancer Society National Home Office and the Look Good … Feel Better program. “It is a measure of the generosity of this industry, not only in the amount of products that are donated on an annual basis by our companies but the generosity of funding it,” Bailey said.

Finding Inspiration

For the person charged with leading a large staff to prepare for industry challenges of the future, staying inspired herself is crucial. For Bailey, inspiration comes from creating opportunities for women similar to the ones she has had. “Increasingly, as I reflect upon the opportunities I’ve had, I want to make similar opportunities available to other women. That’s one reason I’m really fortunate to be in this position, because this is a job that is so focused on understanding women as consumers and helping them—and making sure that they have what they need to generate self-esteem in the workplace.” She’s proud to have that opportunity, and enjoys sharing her enthusiasm and what she has learned about this industry with her daughters, ages 16 to 35. “The Bailey family covers the key demographic groups for a majority of our consumers,” she said. “They just couldn’t be more excited. They love to sample the products. They delight in the innovation.”

Bailey recently had some advice for a group of young professional women in Washington. “Whatever you do in your work, always strive for a balance in your life. What I remember most as I look back over my career is not so much whatever the individual success might be on an issue,” she said. “It is going to be the people I worked with and the experiences of working with individuals … that’s what makes life fulfilling.” Maintaining a balance between work and home was a bit of advice that Bailey took herself over the years. She spent nine years on the board of the Holton-Arms school, a college preparatory day school in Bethesda, Maryland—two years as president and three years as treasurer and finance chair. Today she is a trustee emeritus of the school. The mother of five said she has learned that you may not have balance as a working mother every day, or even every year, but you should try to have that balance over your lifetime. She believes strongly that a woman can have it all: working and raising children, but she said that whatever one’s passion may be outside of work, it’s important to have that passion.

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