WASHINGTON: FleishmanHillard has promoted Kris Balderston to president of global public affairs and strategic engagement. Robert Hoopes will succeed him as GM of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Both are reporting to CEO John Saunders.
In his new role, Balderston will be focused on collaboration opportunities within the firm’s portfolio and with external partners, a statement said. It is a newly created role.
Since 2013, Balderston has been GM of the Fleishman’s Washington office. Prior to joining the firm, he cycled through various roles at the White House under President Bill Clinton before he went on to work as Hillary Clinton’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff during her time as a senator from New York.
When President Barack Obama named Clinton secretary of state, Balderston worked at the State Department as the special representative for global partnerships.
"In the old days, it was just about lobbying, and that’s still important, but it’s much bigger than that now," said Balderston. "It’s about creating trusted networks and finding uncommon alliances and using many different forms of communications tools to learn to tell a story better."
Hoopes, meanwhile, will be responsible for the management and growth of Fleishman’s Washington office as GM, in addition to his duties as Vox Global president and a member of the firm’s global cabinet.
"There are basically two pieces to my job: To make sure Vox is a thriving and vibrant business and to make sure the FleishmanHillard’s D.C. office is a vibrant and thriving business," Hoopes said.
Hoopes has been president of Vox Global, one of Fleishman’s five brands in the capital, since 2007 when the Fleishman mandate acquired his eponymous firm, Hoopes Strategies.
Like Balderston, Hoopes is a veteran of electoral politics with more than 25 years of experience. He has worked for Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Alan Dixon (D-IL), and Vice President Joe Biden. He worked for then-Sen. Biden during his run for president in 1987 in New Hampshire, and later in Washington, D.C. In 2012, Hoopes was Biden’s chief of staff at the Democratic National Convention.
This story was updated on July 13 with comment from Hoopes and Balderston.