Yolanda Murphy, Sector Vice President, Communications, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems
Yolanda Murphy leads the strategic direction and execution of communications initiatives that promote culture, awareness, connection and overall business growth. An award-winning strategic communicator and a trusted adviser to the business, she brings innovative perspectives that shifts the way Northrop Grumman communicates to nearly 90,000 employees.
Her expertise in building bridges between brands and audiences predates the challenges and demands of the current macro environment. She has developed influential global communication campaigns that have led to near-record media interest and engagement, and enhanced customer sentiment and positive perceptions on critical programs.
Murphy continues to lead teams responsible for creating transformative content that transcends traditional communications boundaries and engages through impactful and emotive storytelling. This focus on storytelling served as the foundation for the company’s now award-winning publication, ONE Magazine.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Murphy spearheaded the organization’s thrust into a virtual environment. She supports many efforts to keep the business moving forward as an essential workforce in support of the customer’s varied missions.
Most recently, in an effort to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 200 employees, she led and hosted the sector’s first-ever President’s Leadership Awards Virtual Watch party, modeled after the Oscars. This out-of-the-box concept was introduced by her team, who willingly embraced the challenge to simply “think differently.”
Traditionally, nearly 50 awardees would participate in an in-person dinner, but given the current social distancing mandates and for the safety of employees, this was not possible. Transforming what most would see as a challenge into an opportunity, her team successfully created this first-of-its-kind virtual celebration, providing access to over 1,200 employees who tuned in to witness this celebration, and also made the live event available to more than 10,000 employees across the company.
Murphy is passionate about people. In her commitment to mentoring and as a sponsor for professional development, she is regularly invited to speak to college students, senior-level professionals and business leaders across industries about the art of communications, the importance of public image, and managing your personal brand. She is a fervent advocate for social justice and gender parity, and continues to use her platforms to fight against discrimination, racial inequality and workplace toxicity.
Murphy is a natural-born leader whose guiding principle is to always put people first. She leads an agile team and leans on its key strengths to support her in managing and balancing the strategic and tactical approaches to achieve business objectives.
And she embodies a “growth mindset” — the belief that you are in control of your own development, and can learn and improve through your own actions. Also at the top of her agenda is reinforcing the communications function as a vital asset to the business, and as such disrupted the organizational structure by implementing measurable key performance indicators that demonstrated the direct alignment of communications engagements against key priorities, which led to quantifiable business growth.
Murphy is tackling the toughest communication problems to meet the ever-evolving needs of Northrop Grumman employees and customers worldwide. She is a leader who continues to define possible each and every day.