SAN FRANCISCO: Fenton has appointed Gil Durán, former communications director for California Attorney General Kamala Harris, as SVP of media.
Durán, who started at the agency on August 6, is reporting to SVP Eric Antebi, who focuses on nonprofits and public affairs, and SVP and interim MD Sandy Skees in Fenton's San Francisco office.
While the SVP of media position is not new at Fenton, the firm has not had a staffer in the role in a long time, said an agency spokesperson.
Durán's main responsibilities include handling media outreach for the firm and doing global work on “climate change and issues affecting boys and men of color,” he said.
He will also focus on issues affecting workers, education, poverty, and criminal justice, and he will work on public-interest projects at the firm, such as those involving the Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Durán, who spent 10 years in the public sector, said he admired Fenton for its “creativity and principles.” His goal is to embrace and expand on the work that the firm has done for more than three decades.
“When you consider what you're going to do after you leave government, the landscape can seem pretty bleak if you're looking for something that also meets your ideals and your wish to remain working for the public good, but I see [Fenton] as a place where I can do just that,” he explained.
He added that the role, which he took after a six-month stint as communications director for Harris, is “an extension of my public service, not an end.”
Prior to working in the attorney general's office, Durán served as press secretary for Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) for two years. He was also press secretary for Brown from 2003 to 2007 when he was mayor of Oakland, CA.
In between his stints working for Brown, Durán served as communications director for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from 2008 to 2011 and press secretary for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from 2007 to 2008.
Before working in politics, Durán was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News.