Former Bush administration communications counselor Karen Hughes is joining Burson-Marsteller as global vice chair. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news. The hire adds a bipartisan flavor to an agency much in the national political of late for the role CEO and president Mark Penn played as chief strategist to Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign.
Hughes will be based in Austin, TX, and report to Penn. Hughes from 2005 to late 2007 was the public diplomacy chief at the State Department, charged with boosting the image of the US overseas post-Iraq invasion. From 2001 to 2002 she was counselor to President Bush and continued to serve as informal adviser up through the Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection campaign.
The hiring of Hughes follows the recent launch by Burson of a new Issues and Crisis Group, chaired by Burson worldwide EVP Josh Gottheimer. The Journal quoted Penn as saying the firm plans to create similar “bipartisan braintrusts” in other countries where it runs offices.
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