NEW YORK—Peter Pitts, departing associate commissioner for external affairs of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, will join Manning Selvage & Lee later this month as senior vice president of health affairs as the firm seeks to accelerate the growth of its healthcare and public affairs practices.
Pitts will focus on three areas: counseling pharmaceutical, biotech and food companies on integrated marketing communications in a highly regulated environment; driving thought leadership on food and health issues facing the industry, including new drug development, drug importation, direct-to-consumer advertising, obesity and food labeling; and creating innovative consumer wellness programs for health and food companies.
“Peter is a truly significant addition to our team,” said Joe Gleason, president, North America, MS&L. “He brings a critical understanding of consumer marketing, the regulatory environment and disease education to this role, and will provide new and relevant insights that will help our clients achieve their business goals.”
As associate director for external affairs at FDA, Pitts served as the senior communications adviser to the FDA Commissioner. He provided strategic policy and program direction for the agency’s entire range of communications and interaction with stakeholders and other external audiences, including media. He oversaw the office of public affairs, office of the ombudsman, office of special health issues, and the advisory committee oversight and management staff.
Pitts began his career as an account executive at Lois Pitts Gershon Advertising, and then became marketing manager at the newly formed Cable Health Network, later to become Lifetime Network. He moved into print media, becoming, in turn, assistant creative director at Reader’s Digest, creative services director at McCall’s Magazine and then director of marketing at The New York Post. In 1991 he moved to
Washington, DC to become director of marketing for The Washington Times and Insight Magazine.
In 1995, Pitts was named vice president of marketing and communications at Hudson Institute, a think tank. He returned to the private sector in 1997, joining the advertising/marketing firm Montgomery Zukerman Davis as senior vice president for marketing and strategic planning and later serving as managing partner of Wired World.