Syneos Health promotes Shauna Keough to president, US PR


Keough takes over for Jeanine O’Kane, who was named president of Syneos Health Communications in March.

Keough was most recently MD with oversight across agencies.

NEW YORK: Syneos Health has promoted Shauna Keough to president of U.S. public relations, effective in March. 

She succeeded Jeanine O’Kane, who assumed the role of president of Syneos Health Communications last month. 

Keough will oversee Syneos’ suite of comms agencies, such as Biosector 2 (B2), Chamberlain PR and Chandler Chicco Agency, as well as strategic offerings including corporate communications, risk and reputation management, digital strategy and research digital analytics. She is reporting to O’Kane in her elevated role.

Syneos’ network also includes branding firm Addison Whitney, medical communications agency Cadent and oncology-focused creative shop Genicos. 

Keough received the offer on March 8, International Women’s Day, continuing the succession of female leadership of the network’s PR sector. The significance of the day and the timing of Women’s History Month were not lost on Keough, who recognized the importance of acknowledging and blazing a trail for women leaders across Syneos’ primarily female staff. 

“We cannot be successful without being able to make sure that our people are feeling empowered and accountable,” she said. “That is my continued focus to make sure that people are clear about what the expectations are and what their roles are and that they have interesting work that completely motivates them, because then that will drive the success and the growth of our business.”

Keough most recently served as senior MD with strategic oversight of B2, Chamberlain PR and the practice’s digital and analytics groups. Before that, she was MD of B2.

Alina Worth took over Keough’s role as MD of B2 in October 2022. Arwen Evans was promoted to MD of Chamberlain Healthcare PR that same month. 

This isn’t the first time that Keough has succeeded O’Kane. In 2016, Keough took over as MD at Biosector 2 following O’Kane’s promotion to U.S. MD of inVentiv Health’s PR Group.

Keough said she hopes to continue working with Syneos’ leading clients as well as small to midsize companies to evaluate the culture and needs of the patient population and disparities of care.

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