GNO Foundation Names Barnes VP of Communications and Public Affairs


NEW ORLEANS — Courtney Thomas Barnes will join the Greater New Orleans Foundation as vice president of communications and public affairs. She most recently served as the vice president of communications for Berni Consulting, where she developed communications strategies and focused on new business development. 

“We are thrilled to have Courtney join our leadership team as we continue our mission to drive positive impact in the Greater New Orleans region,” said Andy Kopplin, GNO Foundation president and CEO. “Her passion for strategic communication and keen ability to build relationships with both internal and external stakeholders throughout our region make her the ideal person to take the helm of the Foundation’s public affairs and communications initiatives.” 

“As a proud New Orleans native, I have always admired the foundation’s work and regional impact,” said Barnes. “I’m honored to be a part of such a dynamic and skilled group of professionals who share my commitment to creating generational change in our region through philanthropy, leadership and action.” 

Prior to her time with Berni Consulting, Thomas Barnes served as the chief communications officer for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. As a member of SWBNO’s executive team, she focused on both internal and external communications, public relations and intergovernmental affairs. 

Thomas Barnes also served in the office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu as a communications manager and oversaw communications for a diverse portfolio of city departments, including the New Orleans Health Department, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the New Orleans Recreation Department.

Thomas Barnes graduated from Florida A&M University with a B.S. in journalism and a concentration in public relations

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