Astellas grows comms team with Uhlendorf hire

Uhlendorf was most recently VP of communications and public affairs at PhRMA.

Karl Uhlendorf
Karl Uhlendorf

NORTHBROOK, IL: Astellas Pharma has named Karl Uhlendorf as its communications and advocacy director, effective July 28.

He will report to Margaret Long, VP of strategic advocacy and business communications. In the newly created role, Uhlendorf will work to strengthen the company’s media and advocacy presence in Washington and provide strategic communications counsel to the company’s government affairs team.

He was most recently VP of communications and public affairs at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group commonly known as PhRMA. Uhlendorf has also worked at F-D-C Reports/Elsevier Business Intelligence, where he was editorial director of The Pink Sheet and other trade publications.

Long said Astellas’ Washington office, where Uhlendorf will be based, was missing someone with a media and communications background that could help the company elevate its profile with public policy and thought leaders.

Uhlendorf said he has been able to make a wide range of contacts in DC, and "being able to leverage that network is really an asset," adding that he’s looking forward to working with soon-to-be colleagues at PhRMA on common-interest issues.

Uhlendorf’s hire is another step in Astellas’ move to build out its communications team, which it launched in late 2013. Jeffrey Winton, formerly VP and head of global communications at Eli Lilly and Company, was named SVP and CCO last November.

A PhRMA representative was not immediately available for comment. In April, AHIP’s Robert Zirkelbach was appointed SVP of communications at the trade association.

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