NEW YORK—Steve Aiello, who stepped down last year as chief executive of WPP Group’s Cohn & Wolfe operation has been named senior counselor in the public affairs practice at sister firm Hill & Knowlton. He will lead the public affairs practice in the firm’s New York office, reporting to general manager Marilyn Castaldi.
Says Castaldi, “Clients today are facing challenges that are shaking the very foundations of their business. More than ever, they want to hire people they’ve worked with before, those they know they can trust. A lot of people know, respect and trust Steve Aiello.”
Aiello will provide expert counsel on local political and government affairs to clients where appropriate and assist with new business development primarily throughout New York City and New York State. H&K believes New York will be a major public affairs market in the next few years, particularly with the city’s bid for the Olympics in 2012.
“After 20 years in public relations, I’m returning to my two passions—public affairs and client counseling—with one of the best agencies in our industry,” said Aiello.
Prior to entering in the PR industry, Aiello served in the White House as special assistant to President Carter on ethnic and urban affairs. He also was president of the New York City Board of Education from 1976 to 1979, and was also president of the New York Educational Construction Fund. He is active in numerous civic groups having held leadership positions at the New York City Youth Board, the New York City Urban Coalition and the NYU Creative Arts Team.
His PR career includes serving as director of public affairs for Burson-Marsteller before joining Cohn & Wolfe in 1990.