LOS ANGELES: SKDKnickerbocker has brought on former high-level Obama campaign staffer and White House aide Bill Burton as managing director, launching its Los Angeles office.
Burton was national press secretary for the Obama for America 2008 campaign and deputy press secretary during the president’s first term. Since leaving the White House, Burton co-founded super PAC Priorities USA Action and then served as EVP and MD of Global Strategy Group’s Washington, DC, office.
While just now launching a presence in Los Angeles, the firm does have roots in the city. Managing Director Hilary Rosen served as CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America more than a decade ago and has worked with clients such as Live Nation, Facebook, and Yahoo.
Washington, DC-based MD Karen Olick was also Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) chief of staff for more than 10 years, and the firm has worked with organizations such as HBO, Walt Disney, and the Motion Picture Association of America.
SKDKnickerbocker MD Kelley McCormick said the firm has been considering an LA expansion "for a while," adding that Burton has "a really good mix of understanding politics, and corporate work and reputation."
"He’s got a business plan and he’s ready to go," she said.
Global Strategy Group is looking to replace Burton in the position.
"We are interviewing top-level strategists for SVP, and are pleased with the depth of the talent interested in Global Strategy Group," said Jim Papa, its SVP and MD of Washington strategy and operations. "Our DC market presence is growing, and we are in active talks for additional senior leadership here to meet the demand."
This story was updated on January 28 with comment from Jim Papa.