Our global leadership council work together to ensure a networked agency with local relevance and global reach that serves our clients. Comprised of our central leadership team, global sector leads and our geographical leaders, they provide deep sector and market knowledge, a breadth of public relations and communications expertise and a focus on innovation.
AnnaMaria DeSalva is the global chairman and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, one of the world’s leading strategic communications firms, with more than 70 offices across nearly 40 markets globally. Since joining in this role in June 2019, AnnaMaria has led a period of rapid development and renewal as Hill+Knowlton approaches its centennial milestone. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of parent company WPP plc, the world’s largest marketing services company.
Prior to her tenure at H+K, AnnaMaria served as Chief Communications Officer of DuPont, and subsequently as a senior advisor to Ed Breen, the CEO of DowDuPont, as he advanced the separation and launch of new independent public companies. During her tenure, AnnaMaria restructured the communications function, establishing new standards and protocols to reduce reputation risk and improve performance, while ensuring the company successfully navigated a series of special situations demanding highly sensitive and effective public strategies, including a proxy battle with an activist shareholder; a CEO transition; and the $130 billion merger of equals with Dow leading to the subsequent break-up and creation of three new industry-leading companies.
Before joining DuPont, AnnaMaria spent five years as a vice president of corporate affairs at Pfizer, where she was hired in 2009 to help integrate the $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth, with a focus on the newly combined innovation engine. She was a key partner to the executive leadership of Pfizer in improving R&D productivity as a member of the R&D leadership team and the Portfolio Strategy and Investment Committee, repositioning the company, building investor confidence, and centering the culture on mission and purpose. When she left Pfizer in 2014, she was the head of the corporate affairs effort spanning communications, policy, and government affairs for the innovative core of the company.
Earlier, she served as the global healthcare practice leader at Hill & Knowlton and GCI Group, both WPP companies, delivering significant revenue growth for each firm. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, she led international public affairs in oncology, working principally in Europe, and later became director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.
AnnaMaria is a member of the board of directors of RXO [NYSE: RXO], a leading technology enabled brokered transportation provider, where she chairs the Nominating, Governance, and Sustainability Committee. She previously served as vice chairman of the board of directors of XPO Logistics [NYSE: XPO], where she completed more than five years of board service on November 1, 2022, when XPO spun out RXO and she joined the inaugural RXO board. In September 2022, she completed seven years of service on the Board of Governors of Argonne National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. AnnaMaria is a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board, a member of the Partnership for New York City, and The Economic Club of New York. She also serves on the board of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, her alma mater.
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Richard is Global President of Hill+Knowlton Strategies and CEO of the Americas, with responsibility for driving innovation and business transformation across geographies, sectors and services.
Prior to his current role, Richard was CEO of H+K’s flagship London operation from 2008 to 2018. During that time, he reorganized the agency around a client-centric ‘depth and breadth’ agenda, diversifying the agency’s capabilities and launching new products and services. This transformation agenda resulted in seven consecutive years of record growth, an embedded creative culture, and the agency recognized as UK Agency of the Year. Under his direction, this program is now being adapted and implemented globally.
Richard leads a number of the firm’s global client relationships. Among these is adidas, with whom he has a relationship stretching back to the agency’s appointment in 1993. He cites his client’s restless desire for ideas and innovation, for cultural relevance, as context for his ambitions for H+K.
In a seven-year period between his two terms at the agency, Richard held a number of marketing and trading positions with a European retailer serving latterly as Marketing Director, Europe.
Richard is graduate of the University of Manchester, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Trustee of Generation Success – an organization that champions social mobility and diversity across the professional services industries.
Read articles by Richard Millar
In his role Tomasz is responsible for operational excellence of H+K’s global operations, partnering with regional leaders to drive high performance and support H+K’s growth agenda. Tomasz is also leading H+K’s strategy creation and execution effort, including M&A activity.
Prior to joining H+K, Tomasz worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, completing ~40 projects across industries (financial sector, PE, consumer goods, energy & others), functions (strategy, corporate finance, sales & marketing, transformation programs & strategy implementation) and geographies (Europe and both Americas). His strategic experience includes developing a digital banking strategy for a top US bank, turnaround strategy for a major global insurance company and a game-theory assessment of responses to a takeover of a strategic asset by a key competitor in the energy sector. In the corporate finance space Tomasz led multiple due diligence projects for Private Equity investors and coordinated M&A preparation and execution process in two transnational acquisitions. His sales and marketing experience encompasses developing customer segmentation and go-to-market strategy for a major beer manufacturer, and a new product launch for a US pharmaceutical company. Tomasz also coordinated a division-level transformation program at a major financial institution (delivering ~$100M EBITDA impact) and worked on branch network reorganization for a European bank with 1,000+ locations.
Tomasz completed his MBA at Wharton, where he received Palmer Scholar honors (graduating among top 5% of the class). He holds BA degrees in Economics and Business Administration from University of Gdansk from his native Poland.
Read articles by Tomasz Karasek
Andy is Global CFO and a member of H+K’s global council. He is responsible for the leadership and oversight of worldwide finance and operation functions, as well as H+K’s acquisition strategy– working with the senior leadership team in identifying acquisition candidates with emphasis on the faster growing practices and geographic markets.
Andy has been in finance for 30 years and for the past 18 years with WPP companies: Y&R, the Brand Union and Burson-Marsteller. He has worked as a CFO, Director of Planning and Analysis and Worldwide Controller.
Prior to joining WPP, he worked for Coopers & Lybrand (PWC), Philip Morris (Altria) and Bristol-Myers Squibb – all in NYC – in increasing levels of responsibility.
Andy has a BS in Mathematics & Computer Science, an MBA with a concentration in accounting and he is also a CPA.
Read articles by Andy Scharf
Splitting her time between the US and the UK, Sam is responsible for our new business strategy and conversion and the integration of new client partnerships.
Her role is to ensure the right focus and resource is deployed for every new client assignment. She also leads certain client assignments, including overall leadership of our work for Cotton Council International as their global sustainability agency of record.
Sam’s responsibilities include the strategic planning and implementation of H+K’s marketing, external communications and internal communications globally.
Prior to taking on the responsibilities for Business Development in 2006, Sam set up the Consumer Tech team, which she grew to $2m and included a mix of global and local clients. Specifically, she was H+K’s global lead for TomTom, Verisign, Jamster, Shopping.com and AOL and the UK lead for Intel, Play.com and DatingDirect.com, among others. She also ran the global integrated BT Global Challenge account back in 1999-2001. Sam is a graduate in international business and modern languages (BSc 2:1) from Aston University and MSc equivalent for the Ecole de Management (l’IECS) de Strasbourg. She speaks good French and rusty German.
Read articles by Sam Lythgoe
Alison Eyles-Owen is H+K’s first Global Chief Client Officer, a highly accomplished and award-winning strategic communications leader who is passionate about identifying and unlocking powerful human insights that shape distinctive and compelling brand narratives; translating campaign ideas into effective business building communications strategies. She is a trusted advisor for many of the agency’s largest client relationships, highly adept at creating compelling influencer and advocacy strategies; leading integrated brand building campaigns and developing effective corporate social responsibility programmes. Alison is passionate about helping companies bring to life their corporate purpose, accelerating companies’ citizenship commitments as a differentiator that delivers meaningful change to employees, stakeholders and consumers, as well as being a catalyst for driving reputation.
Alison has deep expertise designing and delivering some of the agencies most highly effective and awarded corporate social responsibility campaigns. She is experienced across multiple aspects of citizenship communications including environmental, social and economic. She regularly supports companies and their executives developing compelling narratives and initiatives that build personal equity and profile for the executive while driving the visibility and reputation of the company, particularly at prominent industry events such as World Economic Forum Davos, CES and Cannes where cutting through the clutter is an imperative to be heard.
Alison has 20 year’s communications experience; outside her role at H+K, she is an external consultant to the Glyndebourne Executive Board; a member of Women on Boards; a founding member of the WPP Advisory Board for Women (Stella) and provides mentorship to rising female talent to actively address the gender gap in the communications industry.
Read articles by Alison Eyles-Owen
Simon is Global Chief Creative Strategy + Innovation Officer of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, leading the creative + innovation agenda globally, both with clients and across the agency’s sectors and specialisms.
Simon joined H+K as Chief Creative Officer in 2014 to lead the transformation of the London agency working alongside the CEO. Through a program of cultural and business change, a new agency positioning was introduced along with the development of new processes, specialisms and skills. In 2017, after three years of top and bottom line growth, London was awarded the Holmes Report UK Agency of the Year and in 2018, Pan-EMEA won Consultancy of the Year.
A part of the transformation Simon has also led the creation of the ‘H+K Shanghai Addition’, a bridge for Chinese clients to the rest of the H+K network. Simon currently spend around 1 week in 6 in China working with Chinese clients including Huawei, Wanda, Envision, Sunning and Honor.
Prior to joining H+K, Simon has held multiple creative leadership positions. He is a well-renowned and respected industry authority, speaking and serving as judge at the Cannes Lions and as President on D&AD jury. In 2019 Simon was ranked one of the top 10 creative leaders by PR Week.
Simon is an awarded architect with architectural degrees from the University of Edinburgh and University College of London.
Read articles by Simon Shaw
As Hill+Knowlton’s Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Randa is responsible for the firm’s global corporate brand, marketing, and internal and external communications across the entire H+K network.
An innovative marketing leader with deep expertise in brand positioning and integrated communications strategy, Randa has served in a variety of in-house and agency client service roles across advertising and PR agencies, digital start-ups and media companies. She is passionate about helping businesses build intentional differentiation through the intersection of communications, creativity, and craft.
Prior to H+K, Randa was most recently Head of Global Marketing & Brand for Weber Shandwick, where she reimagined the positioning and go-to-market strategy for the firm’s global network. In 2021, she led the launch of The Weber Shandwick Collective, formalizing the firm’s distinctive ecosystem of specialist agencies. She previously led the agency’s integrated digital group in New York, managing engagements for several top clients across the consumer and healthcare practices.
Earlier in her career, Randa was an executive director at The Wall Street Journal, where she led the launch of WSJ Custom Studios, the publisher’s first-ever integrated content marketing practice, providing clients with best-in-class content solutions across a variety of platforms, including print, digital, social, mobile, video, and live events. Before WSJ, she held leadership positions in marketing and operations for Federated Media, where she developed influencer and digital media campaigns. Earlier in her career, she worked in the advertising sector, holding account positions at both Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Randa has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and a Masters in Design Management from Pratt Institute. She has guest lectured at New York University and Pratt Institute on the state of digital media and social media marketing.
Read articles by Randa Stephan
As the firm’s first Global Chief Technology Officer, Grant will advance Hill+Knowlton’s end-to-end technology and intelligence strategy. He is charged with working across H+K and WPP to build the firm’s ecosystem of technology-based offerings and improve the use of data science and analytics to drive client success and employee growth and experience. He will act as a key support for large clients, in new business development and in the disciplined execution of our strategic and transformation initiatives.
Grant joins H+K from ICF Next, where he played a principal role in conceptualizing and launching the agency and integrating nearly a dozen independent businesses under one global brand. He went on to lead large portions of the business, including the Technology, Stakeholder Experience, Customer Loyalty and Strategy & Transformation business units. He also served in key functional roles leading growth and business development, marketing, and analyst relations for the agency.
Prior to ICF Next, Grant led PulsePoint Group as its managing partner and president. Grant joined the firm as its first employee and subsequently built the Organizational Optimization and Transformation practice, before taking responsibility for the boutique strategy firm’s overall operations.
Grant has worked with leading clients at Anthem, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chevron, Corteva, CVSHealth, Fannie Mae, General Electric, Hilton, HPE, Hyatt, Johnson & Johnson, Lexus, Kaiser Permanente, Novartis, Pfizer, Toyota, UnitedHealth Group, The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo, among others.
A 2021 PR Week Dashboard 25 honoree, Grant is regarded as one of the most influential executives in CommTech. He is also a founding member of the Arthur W. Page Society’s PageUp organization, where he currently serves on its operating committee.
Grant is a native of Thibodaux, LA and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Read articles by Grant Toups
Azurée is an accomplished human resources executive with demonstrated expertise in talent acquisition and management, learning and development and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has dedicated her career to creating high-performing, innovative and psychologically safe work environments with equal opportunities for all. She currently serves as Hill+Knowlton’s Global Head of Talent Management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where she draws on almost two decades of experience in employee experience and engagement, organizational culture, and leadership development.
Widely regarded as a diversity & inclusion subject matter expert, Azurée often presents at conferences and events on inclusion-related topics. As Global Director of Talent, Diversity and Inclusion for Fitch Group, she designed and implemented the organization’s first diversity and inclusion strategy which included the ForwardPath Women’s Leadership Development Program and the “All of Us” global inclusion training module. Azurée spent nine years as a Vice President in Citigroup’s Global Diversity and Talent Management department where she led teams responsible for succession planning, talent reviews, executive assessments, coaching/development, employee networking and flexible work initiatives. Azurée’s resume also includes positions within the marketing departments of Dun & Bradstreet and J.P. Morgan Chase.
Azurée earned her BA in Political Science, Sociology and Physics from the University of Richmond as a part of the Cigna Honors Program. She holds an MBA in Marketing, Management and Leadership from the Stern School of Business at NYU and will soon complete her master’s degree in Organizational Development and Talent Management at NYU.
Azurée actively participates in multiple professional organizations which align with her passion for community service and efforts to empower underserved communities. She is a member of the New York Chapters of National Black MBA Association, Society of Human Resource Management, National Association of African Americans in Human Resources and Organization Development Network. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, now incorporated for over twenty years, and her graduate chapter of Delta Rho Omega.
Read articles by Azurée Montoute-Lewis
Sara brings over 20 years of experience working on international and domestic communications campaigns for companies in the technology and telecoms space and for those companies using technology to drive innovative business models and solutions and to connect consumers with the latest innovations.
Her work has covered B2B, enterprise and consumer/lifestyle audiences and all aspects of communications discipline from internal communications to PA and advocacy outreach. She leads global campaigns for Tata Communications, Huawei, Mercer Consulting, Microsoft and Wipro Technologies and also advises on multi-national strategy and planning for Intel, LG Electronics and others. In addition, Sara is one of H+K’s crisis leads, having handled crises of all kinds for telcos, financial institutions, health organizations and travel industry leaders.
Prior to taking the global role, Sara led the APAC technology practice working with clients including Microsoft, Nexus Guard, Wipro Technologies and others.
Now based in the UK, Sara has lived in six countries over the past 12 years and worked with teams and clients in over 40 markets worldwide.
Read articles by Sara Gourlay
As Global Chair, Public Affairs, Philippe leads H+K’s global public affairs capabilities to benefit clients, working closely with the firm’s leadership and teams around the world. He has worked for more than 25 years on policy issues and with governments in Africa, Europe, India, the Middle East and North America, helping business leaders anticipate and navigate public policy challenges to protect and enhance their license to operate. His experience at the intersection of public policy, government relations and strategic communications spans the aerospace, agriculture and food, energy, defense, mining, public health, pharmaceutical and tech sectors.
Philippe joined H+K from McLarty Associates, a leading global strategic business advisory firm where he served in leadership positions in the firm’s Brussels and DC offices. At McLarty he advised clients on major transatlantic trade matters; international market entry; government approvals of global mergers; government affairs challenges posed by sanctions regimes; and he implemented strategies in each area. Previously Philippe served as Executive Director in the Washington office of APCO Worldwide, where he led APCO’s global government relations practice. Earlier in his tenure at APCO, he served as managing director of the Brussels office; oversaw operations in India, the Middle East and Africa; and ran the Paris office.
Prior to joining APCO, Philippe worked for the spirits division of the French luxury group LVMH in France and Germany; for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva; and at the delegation of the European Commission in Washington, DC.
A dual French and American citizen, Philippe holds a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master of arts in law (Cantab) from Cambridge University. During the course of his studies, he spent one year at the University of Bonn in Germany as a Konrad Adenauer fellow. He is fluent in French, English, and German.
Read articles by Philippe Maze-Sencier
As Global Chair of Corporate Affairs, Kelli Parsons leads the firm’s expertise across corporate brand and reputation, financial communications, crisis and issues management, employee engagement and change management, and ESG strategies. She provides strategic communication counsel and services to strengthen reputation and brand equity through periods of large-scale change such as 9/11, the Great Recession and the resulting decade of business transformation. Kelli particularly enjoys partnering with CCOs and advising executive teams and boards of directors to build stakeholder trust and create business and societal value in defining moments.
Most recently as Chief Communications Officer at United Technologies, Kelli created the multi-stakeholder communication strategy for the company’s transformation, including its integration of Rockwell Collins, spins of Carrier and Otis and $74 billion merger with Raytheon, while managing complex geopolitical issues.
As CCO of Fannie Mae following the financial crisis, Kelli rebuilt trust and reputation during the historic turnaround of the $3 trillion housing finance company. She authored the strategy and message to foster purpose among employees and communicate the company’s progress to policy makers and regulators, investors, and consumers, for which her team was awarded PRWeek Team of the Year.
Earlier in her career, Kelli led H+K’s US corporate practice, the firm’s largest global client relationship, and its New York and Washington offices through financial and cultural transformation.
Beginning her career as a television news reporter, Kelli’s assignments included U.S. presidential campaigns, the humanitarian crisis in Bosnia and Hurricane Andrew.
Kelli earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism. She serves on the executive committee of the Page Society board of trustees.
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Brenna Terry is Global Chair, Healthcare at Hill+Knowlton Strategies and serves on the firm’s Global Leadership Council. She is responsible for the vision, strategy, client relationships, and development of H+K’s global healthcare business. With more than two decades working in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and broader health and wellness spaces, Brenna has developed a true passion for impactful healthcare communications
Before H+K, Brenna most recently led enterprise engagement and communications for the North America division of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, where she oversaw the planning and implementation of an integrated communications strategy, framework and narrative encompassing organizational, executive, and social/digital communications. Brenna built and developed a diverse, talented team charged with driving understanding, alignment, and engagement with Janssen’s core priorities across the company’s 5,000+ employees and key external stakeholders throughout the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Prior to Janssen, Brenna served as J&J’s Global Leader, Executive Communications & Public Affairs, where she created and executed a strategic communications platform supporting the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee. She also served as Chief of Staff for J&J’s external engagement working group, leading a cross-functional, cross-regional team charged with overseeing the company’s enterprise external engagement process for J&J’s nearly 700 global corporate affairs colleagues worldwide, as well as developing the company’s global COVID-19 external engagement strategy. Earlier in her career, Brenna held various leadership roles on the agency side of the business, counseling senior leaders across the healthcare industry on product, franchise, R&D and corporate communications challenges.
Brenna holds Bachelor’s degrees in Advertising & Public Relations and Comparative Literature from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Business Administration, with specializations in Global Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
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Vikki leads a global team of Content + Publishing experts around the world, focusing on who we create content with, what format that takes and where it lives. This means leading strategically-important client projects, taking learnings from across our international client base and sharing best practice, empowering teams to bring this to life locally.
Now based in New York, she was previously at H+K London for four years as part of its Global Center of Creative Strategy. Here she defined our approach to the C+P discipline, started its Data + Analytics team and delivered work for Campari, Huawei, Intel & more.
She has spent more than 13 years building and leading digital content teams, from strategy to production, social media management, influencer outreach, brand partnerships and UGC. Before H+K she held dual roles at Creston Unlimited group; Head of Agency for Things Unlimited and Head of Social for TMW Unlimited. In this time she worked with over 35 major brands within Unilever, Activision, McCain Foods, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Virgin Trains, Infiniti, Canon & more.
Vikki is a former journalist. She’s written for Contagious, The Guardian, Marketing, Marketing Week, new media age, Econsultancy and was a G20Voice blogger for Oxfam at the G20 Summits in London & Pittsburgh. She also worked in-house as Content Editor for the Jaguar Future project – created by Jaguar to tell the stories behind the C-X16 concept car.
She was placed on PRWeek’s Power Book for 2018 & 2017, The Drum’s Social Buzz Top 50 and Homes Report’s Innovator lists, speaks regularly at industry events, and curates great examples of brand content at ContentWins.co.uk.
Read articles by Vikki Chowney
Bashar is Chief Executive Officer of Hill + Knowlton METIA, overseeing H+K’s growing business across the Middle East, Turkey, India and Africa (METIA), Continental Europe and the Nordics, responsible for the company’s network of wholly owned offices and affiliate partners across the region.
Bashar has enjoyed a successful 28-year career in public relations and the media business, bringing significant regional experience and international insights to benefit clients. He has lived and worked in the UK, UAE, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain. He serves as senior advisor to c-suite across the region.
Prior to joining H+K, Bashar held several senior communications posts, including director of public affairs at The Coca-Cola Company for the Middle East and Africa. He was a founding member of Intermarkets Public Relations in Dubai in 1992 and served on the Board of IraQna (an Orascom company), the first mobile phone network in Iraq, in 2004/05.
Fluent in Arabic and English, Bashar holds a B.Sc. Honours degree from Queen Mary College, University of London.
Read articles by Bashar AlKadhi
HS brings over 28 years of marketing and communications experience working for integrated marketing agencies DMB&B, McCann-Erickson and in-house PR and marketing at The Westin Chosun and The Ritz-Carlton Seoul hotels prior to setting up Synergy Communications in January 2000 which later became Synergy Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2002. HS also worked for major Korean broadcasting station, MBC-TV for over two years prior to starting her career in the marketing and communications industry.
Currently HS leads a team of close to 250 staff across Asia including Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan and manages affiliate relationships across markets in Asia offering services in Corporate, Marketing Communications, Government, Public Affairs, Technology, Consumer Healthcare and Crisis and Issues Management practices. HS also spearheads specialized service offerings for the Korean government and conglomerates going global including LG Electronics and has been involved in a number of government led Olympic projects including the most recent 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
HS has a strong background in corporate, integrated communications and digital having worked for many blue-chip multinational clients throughout her career including Coca-Cola, Nestle, P&G, Johnson&Johnson, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Novartis, GSK and many others. She also has deep understanding of Asian conglomerates and their business needs and has provided C-suite counsel on global PR strategy and framework set up to numerous conglomerates including LG, POSCO, SK Group and Hyundai Motor Company. HS is recognized as Campaign APAC’s Women to Watch 2020.
A graduate of Yonsei University, majoring in Mass Communications, HS served as the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, “The Yonsei Annals,” and won “The Korea Herald’s Best Article Award.” HS also participated in the “Young Korean Journalist Program” hosted by USIS and Center for Foreign Journalist in Washington DC, USA.
HS is a member of the KPRCA (Korea Public Relations Corporate Association) and is also on the board of the PRCA SEA.
Read articles by HS Chung
Simon is the UK CEO of H+K.
Simon is a specialist in corporate communications, international public affairs, financial PR and litigation communications. In addition to his role as CEO of H+K London, Simon oversees H+K’s global energy and industrials business, working across oil and gas, traditional and new energy, mining, transport, infrastructure and logistics. In 2018, his team was awarded Energy Consultancy of the Year at the Petroleum Economist Awards. Key clients have included Shell, Dong Energy, IOGP, Statoil, E.ON, GE Oil&Gas/Baker Hughes, Anglo American, DHL, ICMM, Ford, DP World and Hitachi.
Previously, Simon was a partner at College Hill, leading the energy and natural resources team and co-leading the emerging markets business across Russia/CIS, Africa and India. At College Hill, Simon managed the financial PR for many oil, gas and natural resources companies; he won a SABRE award for his work with the Royal Bafokeng Nation and a PRCA award for best financial communicator for his work with Landkom. Before that, he was European director of emerging markets for APCO Worldwide, working with clients such as Yukos Oil, the Alfa Group and President Yushchenko of Ukraine.
Simon has an MA (Hons) from Cambridge University, an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Simon has lived and worked in the U.S. Japan, Germany and Russia.
Read articles by Simon Whitehead
Susanne Marell is CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Germany. Before joining H+K she was Managing Director at JP KOM and prior to that she served as CEO of Edelman for six years, overseeing the acquisition and merger with ergo Kommunikation.
After her studies she started her career as a consultant with the agency Kohtes & Klewes (now Ketchum). In the following years, Marell worked for companies such as Schering, Hoechst and Aventis CropScience. As Head of Communications and Market Services, her responsibilities included strategic communications support for merger and acquisition activities.
In 2000, she moved to the chemical company Cognis and, as Vice President Corporate Communications, took over the management of worldwide corporate and sustainability communications. Following the acquisition of Cognis by BASF in 2010, Susanne was responsible for global brand management as Vice President Corporate Brand Management at BASF in Ludwigshafen.
Susanne is a certified systemic consultant and change expert. She has many years of international experience in communications, marketing and sustainability, both on the corporate and agency side.
In addition to that, she is a co-founder of the German network of “Global Women in PR” and has built up the initiative “Next Gen Leadership” as a member of the extended board.
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Jun Xu is China CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Being one of China’s first batch of public relations practitioners, Jun holds over 28 years of accumulative experiences in strategic communications, both on the in-house and agency sides.
Before joining H+K in November 2020, Jun served as Greater China Chairman & CEO of MSL, the public relations arm of the Publicis Groupe, where he led the operations and strategic development of MSL in Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while integrating MSL’s business in accordance with the Publicis’ ‘the Power of One’ strategy.
He went to MSL from Unilever, where he was Vice President of Sustainable Business & Communications for Unilever North Asia. At this capacity, he drove the company’s endeavors in landing the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) as a strategic growth driver to provide economic, social and environmental benefits, and in managing external affairs, corporate positioning, employee communications and issues/crisis management in China mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.
Prior to his tenure at Unilever, Jun worked for 15 years at DuPont, with his last position as Corporate Communications Leader – Asia Pacific. During his services to DuPont, on top of his leadership positions in communications, Jun took additional responsibilities as General Manager of the Shanghai Branch of DuPont China, of overall administrative management, Core Values performance management, leadership and employee communications and local government relations.
Before DuPont, Jun spent nearly a decade with Burson-Marsteller (B-M), the world’s leading public relations/public affairs consultancy, starting in 1993 as the firm’s first local hire in mainland China. Joining B-M in Beijing, he later became an integral part of the team in Shanghai, and also completed extensive overseas assignments in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney Australia.
In Sept. 2008, he became one of the first 10 Accredited Business Communicators (ABCs) in mainland China by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Jun has been judging China’s leading marketing and communications awards, including the CIPRA Best Public Relations Program Awards, the Dandelion Awards by the China Communications Leadership Club, the Shanghai Best Public Relations Program Awards, the Mawards, and the Golden Mouse Digital Marketing Awards, to name a few.
Read articles by Jun Xu
Brian leads the Hill+Knowlton Strategies business serving the dynamic and diverse region of Latin America. His expertise in marketing communications strategy and building businesses internationally has been developed over a 25+ year career living and working throughout the region. With regional headquarter functions based out of Miami, FL and São Paulo, Brazil, H+K Latin America maintains owned operations in the major markets of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia, with full capabilities across the region in partnership with H+K affiliates. As CEO, Brian partners with a leadership team of local market experts to provide senior counsel to the company’s clients, ensuring the delivery of impactful results and return-on-investment.
Brian joined H+K’s Global Leadership Council following the 2022 acquisition of JeffreyGroup, the leading independent agency with an exclusive focus on serving large multinationals and global brand across Latin America. He first joined JeffreyGroup in 2000; and as CEO since 2015, led the firm through a period of significant growth with revenues tripling under his leadership. Brian directed the firm’s expanded capabilities in data analytics and the development of its Social Impact and Purpose practice area, which provides counsel on ESG issues as part of corporate sustainability, reputation, and brand purpose programs. During his tenure, the agency consistently garnered industry and client recognition for its strategic and creative programs and solidified its reputation as the leading independent agency in the Latin America region.
In addition to his experience at JeffreyGroup, Brian previously held marketing and management positions at a U.S. environmental technology company, a leading insurance provider, and an Ecuadoran division of a U.S. mining company. Brian serves on the Board of the Missouri State University Foundation, holds an MBA and Master’s in International Business from the University of Miami, and is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
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Sheila Wisniewski is the President and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada. She has over 25 years’ experience in public relations and is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of corporate communications, consumer marketing, and influencer engagement.
Sheila joined Hill+Knowlton in 2003. She became general manager of H+K’s largest Canadian office and headquarters in Toronto in 2015 and was appointed president and CEO in 2018. With sectoral expertise in technology, consumer goods, health care, and retail, she has led integrated national accounts for such diverse clients as Whirlpool, Coca-Cola, HP, and IKEA.
Sheila holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in English and political science from Trent University and graduated with honors from Humber College’s public relations certificate program. She is passionate about social issues and is a driver of H+K Canada’s national DEI program. Sheila currently serves as Vice Chair of the Sinai Health Foundation’s Brand Strategy Council.
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Ricardo Cesar is Global CEO of H+K subsidiary Ideal and a member of the Global Leadership Council at Hill + Knowlton Strategies. He is a founding partner and CEO at Grupo Ideal, a Brazilian holding company that manages communications agencies in the country in association with WPP. Cesar is a senior adviser who has played a pivotal role in defining and implementing communications strategies for multinational corporations such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Softbank, Nike, Nestlé, AbInbev, Volkswagen, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, GE, to name a few. He has taken a special interest in reputation management amid the digital evolution that is transforming the way the public consumes and shares information.
In 2017 Cesar was featured at the PRWeek Global Power Book, a list of the most influential PR professionals around the world. In 2019 he sat at the jury of the SABRE Awards in Latin America, the most important PR award in the region.
He started his career in the 90’s, supporting Microsoft’s Corporate Communications team. He then went on to work as an editor and correspondent in London for IDG, one of the largest American IT and telecommunications publishing companies at the time. He was one of the first Brazilian journalists to follow the development of social media in the US and Europe. Having also worked at Valor Econômico, Brazil’s largest business and finance daily newspaper, and at EXAME, the country’s most prestigious business magazine. After leaving EXAME in September 2007, Ricardo went on to become one of the founding partners at Agência Ideal, which later became Ideal H+K Strategies and consolidated its position as the third biggest PR and corporate communications agency in Brazil.
Ricardo Cesar holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications (Journalism) from the School of Communication and Arts at the University of São Paulo (ECA – USP) and a post-graduation diploma in Market Communications Management from FGV-EAESP, one of the most prestigious business schools in Brazil. He is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.
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Melanie is the senior communications consultant in Brussels and leads the firm’s EMEA professional communities through its Client Advisory Board which she leads as CEO. Her consulting focus is corporate communications around change, transactions and issues management in sectors including food, finance, energy, industrial and government.
She works extensively with industry associations and corporates internationally, helping them to manage complex supply chain relationships and run change, information and advocacy campaigns. She is a specialist in complex restructuring and downsizing projects, providing consulting advice to corporate boards and local management.
Melanie is an accomplished conference moderator trainer and coach and regularly facilitates leadership team development programs.
Melanie worked in the Middle East for nine years, latterly as regional director in Dubai, having held GM roles in UAE, Bahrain and Qatar. She was previously Associate Director in a London consultancy.
Melanie is a British national, brought up in Holland. She speaks Dutch and some French and holds a joint honors degree in marketing and design from Lancaster University. She sits on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU and was previously on the board of the British Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Directors. She is a member of the Institute of Directors, the UK Institute of Public Relations and Middle East PR Association.
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