Molinari talks to Ketchum about becoming new public affairs head

WASHINGTON: Former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari is in discussions to become the next director of public affairs at Ketchum, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

WASHINGTON: Former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari is in discussions to become the next director of public affairs at Ketchum, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The multinational agency has been searching for a prominent political figure to lead its public affairs practice for nearly a year. The last person to hold the position, Anne Forristall, left to join government relations shop McClure, Gerard & Neuenschwander in October 2002. At that time, Ketchum announced its desire to fill the position with a high-profile "rainmaker."

Molinari, once the highest ranking female Republican in Congress, is currently president and CEO of The Washington Group, the lobbying firm acquired by Ketchum in January 2001. According to sources, she would retain that position in addition to her new responsibilities.

Both Molinari and Ketchum did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

Former President Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry was in negotiations with Ketchum to assume the post earlier this year, but a deal agreeable to both sides could not be reached, according to several sources familiar with the talks.

Molinari was widely reported this summer to be one of several prominent figures in line to become president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

She removed herself from consideration citing her obligations to The Washington Group. The position has since been filled by Mitch Bainwol, former chief of staff to Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN).

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