WASHINGTON, D.C.—Burson-Marsteller and its sister research company Penn Schoen & Berland have appointed Clinton administration veteran Don Baer to a senior level role within both organizations. Baer will serve as chairman of Penn Schoen and vice chairman of Burson-Marsteller. Baer, who was a senior advisor on the Clinton administration’s White House staff, has built an expertise in helping media and content companies extend their brands into the realm of digital media, helping to lead efforts by Discovery Communications to establish important initiatives in the new media space.
Baer will be responsible for helping drive new business initiatives and providing strategic counsel to clients at both firms and will report to Mark Penn, president of Penn Schoen and CEO of Burson-Marsteller. He will be based in Washington where the two companies share offices.
Over the past eight years, Baer was a senior executive at Discovery Communications, a $3 billion global media company that is the home of the Discovery Channel, where he reported to the company’s CEO and managed overall strategy and development, including corporate partnerships, new ventures and acquisitions; new media business development and operations, and corporate affairs, communications, research and public policy.
From 1994 through 1997, Baer served as a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton. As White House director of strategic planning and communications and earlier as White House director of speechwriting and research, he helped spearhead the Clinton administration’s efforts to coordinate and promote all domestic and foreign policy. He was also a senior member of the Clinton/Gore 1996 reelection team.
From 1987 through 1994, Baer worked at U.S. News & World Report in Washington, first as a reporter covering the U.S. Justice Department and then as a national political reporter/writer, covering presidential politics and the White House.