CHICAGO—William Griffin, a lawyer and former journalist who served as press secretary and chief of staff for Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, will join Hill & Knowlton as senior vice president and practice leader for its Midwest public affairs operations. Griffin will be based in the firm’s Chicago office.
Griffin's career in public affairs began in 1979, when he became press secretary and later chief of staff for then-Mayor Byrne. In 1981, he formed his own public affairs firm, Brady Griffin. After earning his law degree in 1988 from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago Kent College of Law, Griffin became a law partner in the firm of Lison & Griffin. He joins Hill & Knowlton after running his own law office since 1998.
Griffin also worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune from 1974 until 1979, and for the City News Bureau of Chicago from 1971 until 1974.
In the corporate sector, he has represented American Airlines for 28 years before the city of Chicago, State of Illinois and the Illinois Congressional Delegation. He developed and implemented a grassroots campaign to amend federal rules that allowed American Airlines to replace small turboprop commuter planes with new large jets. He also organized and coordinated efforts to oppose moves by downstate and suburban lawmakers in Illinois to have the state take over O'Hare Airport.