Hawker was previously chair of EMEA healthcare at Burson-Marsteller, working with clients including AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis and Colgate.
Prior to joining Burson in 2012, Hawker was business development director at Informed and before that a director and partner at FleishmanHillard, having sold her agency The Remedy to Fleishman in 2006.
She joins what is UK's largest healthcare PR team, according to the new PRWeek UK Top 150, which brought in revenues of £13.2m last year. With 55 staff, it is one of the three largest health teams anywhere in Edelman's business.
Hawker is tasked with growing that team and ensuring further integration of creative and digital capabilities, including with the newly formed Edelman Deportivo UK.
She said: "Edelman boasts a prestigious health team with an enviable client roster and vibrant team culture. There remains a relentless ambition to innovate and to offer 'best in class' creative approaches to deliver great work for our clients. There is more to achieve, and I am thrilled to be joining at this time."
Hawker's predecessor Bartling initially joined the agency in Chicago in 2003. It was her first time working for an agency, according to LinkedIn, after previous stints at the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American College of Implant Dentistry and the American Medical Association.