Jill Cress serves as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of National Geographic Partners. In this role, Cress oversees the overall global communications strategy and brand vision, driving all marketing and communications activities for the National Geographic brand and entities around the world.
Cress was tapped as CMO of National Geographic Partners in 2016 after a long tenure at MasterCard, bringing with her a depth of consumer insights expertise that put her in a powerful position to help revitalize National Geographic’s world-renowned brand. With Jill at the helm, her team embarked on a massive re-working of the brand strategy, harnessing the power of the iconic “yellow border” and refocusing on the brand’s mission: to explore, and further peoples’ understanding of the world. Under Cress’s leadership, the brand is taking bold approaches to communications and marketing, including the Clio award-winning 2017 Super Bowl commercial for National Geographic’s first-ever scripted series "Genius."
Since she took the reins, Cress and her team have demonstrated the promise and power of National Geographic’s new brand strategy, bringing in new audiences and higher levels of engagement that they are translating into more holistic partnership platforms and revenue opportunities. Today, National Geographic enjoys a world-wide following of millions of fans in 172 countries and has become the most popular brand on Instagram.
Prior to her time at National Geographic, Cress was executive vice president of global consumer marketing at MasterCard, where she oversaw the global consumer strategy including the Priceless Platforms, global content strategy, and consumer segment inspired marketing. She leveraged creative positioning and scalable new digital platforms, including the incorporation of “Priceless Cities” around the world into MasterCard’s “Priceless” award-winning campaign.
A self-described “explorer at heart,” Cress has traveled to over 60 countries and lived abroad for four years. She was named as one of Business Insider’s 25 most innovative CMOs in 2018, and featured in Variety’s 2017 Marketing Impact Report, which profiles the creators of the film, TV and digital campaigns making a splash. She is also a frequent speaker at leading marketing industry events around the world. Cress serves on the advisory board for the Ad Council and serves as co-chair of the New York Advisory Board for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. She received a B.S. in Science Marketing from Indiana University.