SEATTLE: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has hired Kate James as its next chief communications officer. She takes the post in January 2010. James is replacing Heidi Sinclair, who left the position in February, and comes from Citibank, where she joined as SVP of global corporate communications in June 2008. A representative from Citibank told PRWeek that the company has not yet finalized plans going forward. In her new position, James will serve as the senior communications adviser for the foundation's co-chairs and executive team, work with both global and US programs to advance the foundation's mission, and serve as a member of the foundation's management team.