Bayer adds Leahy, Loder to senior comms leadership

Bayer has appointed Christopher Leahy and Christopher Loder to newly created senior positions in US government affairs and external communications, respectively.

WHIPPANY, NJ: Bayer has appointed Christopher Leahy and Christopher Loder to newly created senior positions in US government affairs and external communications, respectively.

Both moves are effective immediately.

Leahy was named VP of federal government relations and head of Bayer's Washington, DC, office, while Loder was appointed to the role of VP of external communications in the US. They will be responsible for developing government affairs and external communications strategies for Bayer and its US affiliates, including Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience, and Bayer MaterialScience.

Christopher Loder

Both will report to Ray Kerins, SVP and head of communications for government relations and policy, and will serve on the US communications, government relations, and policy leadership team.

Kerins said he conducted an extensive six-month search for a VP of government relations and interviewed dozens of candidates from all walks of life. Leahy was the first person he interviewed during the process, said Kerins, who touted his corporate and congressional experience.

“I knew from day one [that he] was the right person,” said Kerins. “The combination was exactly what I was looking for.”

Having previously worked with Loder, Kerins said he brings a “significant level” of engagement to solving problems.

Kerins also previously worked at Pfizer as VP of external affairs and worldwide communications before leaving the company as part of a restructuring in summer 2012. He joined Bayer last April.

Leahy, a DC native, spent seven years as VP of federal government relations for Peabody Energy. He was also policy coordinator and counsel to the House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce. Before working on Capitol Hill, Leahy served as government relations counsel in the office of industry-government relations of Volkswagen of America.

New Jersey native Loder joined Bayer from Pfizer, where he was a senior director of worldwide communications, serving as one of the lead global spokespeople for corporate matters since 2007. Previously, he spent six years at Merck, where he worked on legal and executive communications and was a primary spokesperson during the company's 2004 withdrawal of Vioxx. Loder has also worked at MWW and Ogilvy Public Relations. Before joining the communications industry, Loder was a reporter and deputy bureau chief for The Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ.

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