NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton has named Rory Davenport as senior vice president and director of the public affairs practice of its Washington, D.C., office. Beyond traditional public affairs work, he will be responsible for building a practice offering that combines public and corporate affairs, with particular focus on international clients.
Davenport brings nearly two decades of public affairs experience to Hill & Knowlton. He became a public affairs executive in 1988 after establishing himself as a political director for a state party, manager of a U.S. Senate campaign and senior positions on two presidential campaigns. Most recently, he formed Fleishman-Hillard’s political and international affairs practice in Washington. Prior to that, he founded Edelman Worldwide’s grassroots and political programs practice, serving as its first director.
“Rory completed our picture of the ideal public affairs counselor to lead the evolution of our offering. He has managed integrated global campaigns that concurrently achieved business and policy goals. His expertise in devising campaigns that influence the development of public policy and contribute to a company’s bottom line is the future of public affairs,” said Gene Reineke, COO, Hill & Knowlton USA and general manager, Hill & Knowlton Washington, DC.
“More than ever, in a complex and rapidly moving global business and public policy environment, clients must navigate the intersection of corporate communications and public affairs. Hill & Knowlton’s differentiated approach to public affairs will ensure that our clients’ corporate and policy objectives are not considered mutually exclusive.”
He replaces Neil Dhillon, who left earlier this year to head the public affairs practice at Financial Dynamics.
“I joined the firm because we share the same views on the future of public affairs,” says Davenport.”The traditional and prevalent execution of public affairs is too narrowly focused and doesn’t take into consideration a corporation’s overall business goals. This blind spot does not exist at Hill & Knowlton.”