LOS ANGELES: Edelman has upped Deborah Kazenelson Deane to EVP, group head of the corporate practice in Los Angeles.
Kazenelson Deane started the role in late September and reports to James Williams, GM of Edelman Los Angeles. She succeeds Marie Kennedy, who left the firm in March after about two years in the role to join consultancy CCO Sweet as principal, according to her LinkedIn profile. Williams had handled the role’s responsibilities in the interim.
In her new job, Kazenelson Deane leads a team of 20 staffers specializing in corporate communications, crisis and issues management, employee engagement, CSR, and public affairs. She also has dotted lines to people on Edelman’s health team and employees who support media training and storytelling.
Kazenelson Deane will also help Edelman’s clients in Southern California connect with Hispanic audiences.
She joined Edelman in 2006 and most recently served as EVP on the healthcare team. This is the first time Kazenelson Deane is leading a practice at the agency. Her previous responsibilities, including healthcare communications, were folded into her new role.
"Over time it became obvious that my role in health has always leaned more towards the corporate IR side of it, as opposed to the deep clinical side," she told PRWeek. "I do a lot of media training, storytelling, and branding work, so inevitably the relationships I have developed have been in the C-suite. It feels like all points have been leading to this role for some time."
Prior to Edelman, Kazenelson Deane worked as a consultant for DKLA Communications, Smith PR, and FleishmanHillard. She also served as VP at Magnet Euro RSCG and as GM for PainePR, helping to launch the firm’s Los Angeles office. Earlier in her career, Kazenelson Deane was a senior account executive at Hill & Knowlton, according to her LinkedIn profile.