Our People

Katie Villany


Katie Villany


Katie provides strategic counsel and communications support to companies across industries and in a wide range of special situations, including mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism and crisis communications. In addition, she works with clients to develop and refine their investor and public relations programs. Her areas of expertise include:

Mergers & Acquisitions

She advises clients in both friendly and unsolicited transactions. Notable assignments include, among others: Varian in its sale to Siemens Healthineers; Grubhub in its sale to Just Eat Takeaway.com; HP in its defense against Xerox’s unsolicited takeover proposal; Symantec in the sale of its enterprise security business to Broadcom; Fiserv in its acquisition of First Data Corporation; Cypress Semiconductor in its sale to Infineon; Hortonworks in its merger with Cloudera; Shutterfly in its sale to Apollo Global Management; Thermo Fisher in its acquisition of Patheon; Swift Transportation in its merger with Knight Transportation; Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in its sale to Restaurant Brands International; and General Electric in its transaction to combine GE, Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes.


She advised Affirm and Lyft in their initial public offerings, including pre-filing activities, launch day preparation and media training, and message development for external and internal stakeholders.

Crisis Preparedness and Communications

She develops and executes crisis communications strategies to help companies protect their reputations in a variety of situations, including cybersecurity issues and data breaches, litigation, earnings surprises, workplace misconduct and internal investigations, short attacks, management succession and unplanned leadership changes.

Shareholder Activism

She supports companies in both public and private activism situations. Notable assignments include HP (Carl Icahn), Pattern Energy (Water Island Capital), SUPERVALU (Blackwells Capital), Cars.com (Starboard) and PAREXEL (Starboard).

Investor Relations and Public Relations

She works closely with management teams to develop and enhance overall corporate communications strategies, including assisting clients with quarterly earnings preparation, corporate positioning, profile-raising, thought leadership opportunities and employee communications.

Katie joined Joele Frank in September 2016. She received a BA in Political and Social Thought with a minor in Business Spanish from the University of Virginia.