Oral Histories

Emmanuel Tchividjian

Interview Segments on Topic: Characteristics/Qualities of PR Professionals

Emmanuel Tchividjian Biography

Emmanuel Tchividjian serves as the Executive Director, Ethics Consulting Practice for Ruder-Finn, the only PR agency with an ethics officer, ethics committee and regular ethics meetings to which all staff are invited. Tchividjian has been with the company since 1997. Prior to joining Ruder-Finn, he worked for the Government of Switzerland and in particular, was tasked with researching and telling that country's account on issues relating to WWII and the Holocaust.

Mr. Tchividjian is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and a member of the Ethics & Compliance Officers Association, (ECOA) the national professional association for managers of ethics and compliance programs. He is the Ethics Officer of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America as well as a member (ex-officio) of the National Board of Ethics and Professional Standards. He is also a member of the Swiss-American and French-American Chambers of Commerce.

Transcript

Interviewer: So getting back to your own experiences, what education or previous experience, professional experience do you think best prepared you for your role now and for the rigors of ethical decision making and in your case, guiding people to make ethical decisions? What experience do you think helped you and prepared you the most for the role that you play now?

Tchividjian: When I think of the students now, I think being very current in what’s going on in the world. I’m always very interested in not just politics, but social issues. It’s helpful because once you join a firm you have to deal with so many aspects of life that if you have some base knowledge or experience, that’s going to be helpful. Being able to listen; listening really closely; sometimes asking to yourself, what did the person really tell me? We wear different levels of masks and what is the person not telling me? I think in terms of ethics, you want to help. That’s a basic element. You want to be helpful. You’re not a judge; you’re not a prosecutor. You’re trying to help people avoid making mistakes and then deal with mistakes when they happen. I think I had those attributes.

Interviewer: So what about mentoring? How important do you think mentoring is to fostering ethical decision making in the workplace?

Tchividjian: Very, very important because ethics touches so many different parts of what we do and you may not be able to see it, but someone who has experience can see through it. Mentoring is key, I think.

Interviewer: Are you involved in mentoring?

Tchividjian: Yes I am involved in mentoring and have been involved in mentoring with PRSA. I actually got an award. Everybody at the ceremony told me you’ve helped me so much, I just couldn’t remember where and when.