NEW YORK—Burson-Marsteller has appointed Nathan Ballard, best known as an advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, as managing director. Ballard is a veteran political communications executive with years of experience handling high-profile clients and campaigns. He will be based in San Francisco and will report to Burson-Marsteller executive vice president worldwide Josh Gottheimer.
Ballard was the communications director for Mayor Newsom from 2007 to 2009. During his tenure, Ballard helped increase Newsom’s visibility in national mainstream media and new media as well as managing communications during several crises.
From 2004 to 2007, Ballard provided communications services to a range of clients including labor unions, nonprofit organizations, law firms, private businesses, political candidates, and initiative campaigns. During the 2004 presidential election, he served as the Democratic National Committee’s communications director in California. In the 2004 presidential primaries, he was press secretary for Senator John Kerry in Northern California and communications director for General Wesley Clark in Missouri.
Earlier, he was communications director for the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, and a communications director for the California Democratic Party, and communications director for New Hampshire Senate President Bev Hollingworth’s campaign for governor.