Edelman makes senior hires in the Middle East

Edelman has appointed Seth Hand as corporate managing director, while Yahya Hamidaddin has been appointed as regional director.

Edelman Middle East corporate MD Seth Hand and CEO Omar Qirem.
Edelman Middle East corporate MD Seth Hand and CEO Omar Qirem.

Hand, a former managing director at Finsbury Middle East and Africa, will be based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and starts on July 28. 

Hand has been operating in the Middle East and Africa for over ten years and has provided high-level consultation to public and private sector clients. 

A financial communications specialist, he has led regional expansion into new markets and crisis communications for CEOs and prominent Middle East businesses.

Hamidaddin joins as regional director to expand Edelman’s public sector and regional offering. 

Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Yahya has nearly 20 years communications experience. He has worked in both the private and public sector in the Middle East during that time, and established his own communications firm.

Hand and Hamidaddin will report to Omar Qirem, CEO of Edelman Middle East, and joins a leadership team in the region that includes Bhavna Thapar, managing director of brand, Paul Slinger, head of the Abu Dhabi office, and Jared Robinson, CFO.

Hand said: "Throughout my time in the Middle East and Africa, I have always viewed Edelman as the agency to beat, so I am looking forward to being part of the team. Omar has a clear vision for the long-term growth of the business and I believe my experience and deep understanding of the region will help Edelman achieve its goals, as well as build on the world-class strategic counsel and campaign implementation we already provide to clients." 

Hamidaddin added: "I'm excited to join such a respected organization with a strong footprint in the Middle East. Edelman continues to lead the industry with creative campaigns, a focus on growing talent, and redefining PR."

Qirem said both new hires would bring a wealth of experience to the PR firm.

"Both Seth and Yahya are experienced operators and I am pleased to welcome them to the team. They have significant experience counselling local and international clients and bring to the business a deep understanding of the market having worked here for a number of years."

Edelman has also announced that Ken De Pauw has joined the firm as digital director. 

The firm is celebrating its tenth year in the region and currently operates three wholly-owned offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Riyadh, with a network of affiliates across the Middle East and Africa.

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