It’s easy to make it when times are good. But to succeed and thrive when the going gets tough takes something special. Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Kathleen Koch touches listeners with powerful, personal experiences of survival and resilience from her decades reporting on everything from presidents to plane crashes to hurricanes. If you want to motivate your audience to persevere no matter what crisis arises, then Kathleen’s words of wisdom are what you need!

Kathleen’s Topics:

Mission Possible - During the pandemic, it felt like there was risk around every corner. I deconstruct how that has changed the ways our brains work. And I explain how the experiences of people who survive disasters can provide a blueprint for how to craft our new normal. Audiences at this uplifting talk will learn how to retrain their brains to adopt the survivor instead of the victim mentality. They’ll discover how instead of PTSD, crisis can reveal strength and lead to post traumatic growth!

The Power of One - Yes, you can make a difference in the world! I discuss fascinating individuals I interviewed at CNN who have created great change. In this talk packed with audience interaction, I teach how to overcome the naysayers in your life and share proven tips on how to turn passion into action.

Survive or Thrive? - Why do some cities bounce back after disasters and how are they changed in the process? I describe the traits I've seen of resilient communities including my hometown, Bay St. Louis, and other Mississippi Gulf Coast towns that survived Hurricane Katrina. From resolve and adaptability to a sense of humor and the ability to let go, audiences learn how communities can overcome great odds and emerge stronger.

Crisis Leadership Lessons – What have leaders around the country learned as they brought their cities through disaster and crisis – and how can you apply it in your organization? I share the real-life crisis leadership secrets of elected officials who have battled floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, mass shootings and more. How you respond will define you, so this talk is a must for anyone at the helm when the seas are rough.

Bounce Forward – It’s easy to know what to do when life is good. But what about when it kicks you in the teeth? From bosses who thought I was too short and wanted to change my name to being laid off and turned down by a dozen publishers, I use my experiences in this talk to show audiences it’s o.k. to get knocked down in life – as long as you keep getting back up again and again and again!

Katrina First Person - What is it like covering the worst natural disaster in U.S. history as it strikes your hometown? In this personal talk, I walk audiences through the rubble with me and describe how I saw disaster impact individuals, including among other things increased compassion, an understanding that buildings don’t make a community, and the little-discussed PTSG – post traumatic stress growth. Enter the hurricane zone and prepare to be moved!


Kathleen Koch uses her skills as a seasoned journalist to bring out the best in your panelists. She not only knows how to listen and draw attention to key points, but she has the guts to gracefully silence the loquacious and maintain focus. Sharp, insightful events and panel discussions require a savvy hand on the controls. Whether handling governors, international diplomats or business leaders, Kathleen uses a deft touch to guide panels to a smooth landing.


Crisis Communication / Media Training
From 9/11 to the anthrax and sniper attacks, from plane crashes to the 2008 economic collapse, from blizzards to floods and hurricanes, Kathleen Koch in her career has covered virtually every type of crisis imaginable. So she is uniquely positioned to share with your organization vital lessons in crisis communication. Kathleen has also grilled everyone from presidents and defense secretaries to corporate CEO’s, so is adept at instructing how to get your message across when sparring with the media.

Contact Info

Kathleen Koch

Phone: 202-841-2710


Get The Book

©2015 Kathleen Koch, All Rights Reserved.