WASHINGTON: Hill+Knowlton Strategies has named Ellen Moran, principal of The Dewey Square Group and former White House communications director, as GM in Washington DC.
She will start in the role on March 23.
Moran, who spent five months in 2009 at the White House before serving for nearly three years as the US Department of Commerce chief of staff, will focus on daily business, Washington office growth, and client work said Michael Coates, president and CEO of the Americas.
"[She] has a good understanding of grassroots, media, and policy," he said. "She brought it all."
She will report to Howard Opinsky, who leads H+K’s East Coast region and corporate practice.
A representative from Dewey Square said it does not yet have a sucessor picked for Moran's role.
Coates said he was interested in GM candidates with campaign experience because of factors like a strong management skill set. He added that he realized Moran was the right candidate in an internal meeting with the high-level staffer at Dewey Square Group, which is also a WPP firm.
The Washington office is working to grow its public affairs footprint, said Coates, but it is facing hurdles such as congressional gridlock.
"I think if you provide an offering capable of moving the public agenda, you’re more likely to have an impact on the process," he said.
Before working at the White House, Moran was executive director of Emily’s List from 2005 to 2008, worked in the political department at the AFL-CIO, and held various roles at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee.
This story was updated on March 12 with comment from a Dewey Square representative.