NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, today announced that Helaine S. Klasky has been named Chair, U.S. Public Affairs and Crisis Practice, effective immediately. Klasky will be responsible for building the practice's extensive client portfolio and helping clients achieve their corporate and public-policy objectives.
"Helaine is a world-class strategist with deep corporate, non-profit and government experience in communications and public affairs," said Mike Fernandez, U.S. CEO, Burson-Marsteller, to whom Klasky will report. "Having worked with some of the top leaders in business, government and academia, she has built teams and cutting-edge programs that have enhanced reputations and solved real-world problems. From developing powerful thought leadership efforts to navigating crises, Helaine is one of the best, and she will be a tremendous asset to Burson's clients."
Klasky worked at GE for more than seven years serving as Chief Communications Officer for GE Energy Management, and creating and then leading GE's global public affairs function. She also served as Senior Adviser for GE Business Innovations. Throughout her tenure at GE, she advised senior leaders on communications, public affairs and outreach strategies, including thought leadership and digital engagement. She also developed and drove strategies and data analytics to maximize customer engagement and business growth. Through identifying and creating relationships with key stakeholders, she helped further position the company as an industry leader and improve the market conditions for growth.
Before GE, Klasky spent eight years as Chief Communications Officer and Associate Vice President at Yale University, where she developed and implemented strategic communications plans for the University and spearheaded communications for many of its science and global initiatives. Before that, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, advising then-Secretary Lawrence Summers and other senior Treasury officials on all media matters and coordinating with White House offices and other government agencies. Earlier in her career she was Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs and Spokesperson, where she managed the communications strategies relative to China's accession to the World Trade Organization and helped the government navigate a response to the public demonstrations surrounding the WTO meetings in Seattle. Earlier in her career she was Director of Media Relations at the U.S. Department of State and worked for two members in the U.S. Senate.
"In this period of accelerated change, businesses and organizations need partners who understand how to help them advance and achieve their corporate and policy objectives," said Klasky. "I am excited to lead Burson-Marsteller's extraordinary team of public affairs and crisis experts and to work with them to ensure our clients achieve their goals."
Klasky earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley; a Master's in International Relations from American University; and a Master's in Education, Global Emphasis, from the University of Virginia.
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm's seamless worldwide network consists of 73 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world's leader in communications services. For more information, please visit www.burson-marsteller.com.
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