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Irene Etzkorn

Chief Clarity Officer


Irene is one of the nation’s leading experts on plain English writing and simplifying communications.  She frequently authors articles and addresses audiences on the business and societal benefits of clarifying information to improve the customer experience. Most recently, Irene co-authored Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity, which was released in April 2013 to critical acclaim and named a “Best Business Book of 2013” by Booz & Company. It has since been published in several international editions, including UK, China, South Korea, Hungary and Brazil.

The driving force behind many milestones in consumer information, Irene has been instrumental in the development of simplified prospectuses and comprehension testing of consumer documents. In fact, she led the development of the first investor-oriented account statement on Wall Street and the first simplified hospital bill. During Irene’s 30-year career at Siegel+Gale, where she led the Simplification practice, she helped set new communication standards in several industries.

Irene has deep expertise in the insurance, banking, brokerage, healthcare, government and utility sectors.  She has pioneered breakthrough programs for organizations including Allstate Insurance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, General Electric, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bank of America and PNC Bank. She has also led simplification assignments of massive scale, notably for AT&T, IBM and the IRS.

Irene holds an MA in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA with highest honors from C.W. Post College, where she majored in English and biology. She has served on
the boards of the Center for Plain Language, Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University
and Dalbar.