WASHINGTON: Burson-Marsteller has hired Nate Tibbits as chair of its US public affairs practice and Johanna Schneider as managing director and market leader of its Washington office.
The agency also hired Laura Sheehan as managing director and leader of its Washington-based public affairs practice. Sheehan most recently served as SVP of public affairs at the American Gas Association.
Tibbits most recently served as executive secretary of the US National Security Council. He previously worked as a special assistant to President Barack Obama, and as VP of international education at Discovery Communications.
He will replace Mike Lake, who had served as chair of both the public affairs practice and Burson's US Southwest region. Lake will continue as Southwestern regional chairman.
“As companies are making their way through a turbulent economic period, they need a strong course charted for them as well as someone who has their eye on the ball in the short term,” said Tibbits.
Schneider will step in for Patrick Ford, who had held the position on an interim basis. Ford was promoted to global vice chairman for client service from US CEO on January 1. She will report to US CEO Dave DenHerder when she begins work on January 16.
“I was trying to find an opportunity to blend many different avenues of experience, and Burson-Marsteller is the perfect landing spot,” she said.
Schneider has also worked as director of communications at the Business Roundtable, senior adviser for media relations at the National Institutes of Health, and deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Labor.
Schneider added that clients of Burson's DC office can expect to see more emphasis on data-backed services.
“I think, far too often, decisions have been made looking in the rearview mirror, as in, ‘How did we solve this problem the last time it occurred?'" Schneider said. “The government does that frequently, where it usually ends up crafting a solution for yesterday's problem. What I'd like to do is capitalize on research and information and make certain we're looking ahead.”