LONDON—Hill & Knowlton has hired Tatiana Smirnova, former deputy general manager of VISA Association (Russia), as general manager of its new office in Moscow. Smirnova will report operationally to Kim Nyberg, chairman and CEO of northern and central-eastern Europe, while the Russian operation will report to Andrew Laurence, chairman and CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Says Laurence, “Russia is an extremely important market for us in which we have been present for a number of years. Opening a wholly-owned Hill & Knowlton office will strengthen our regional presence, enabling us to provide strategic communicational solutions within the most rapidly developing sectors of the Russian economy, including oil and gas, new technologies and financial services.”
Smirnova will be responsible for developing H&K’s capability in Russia to serve the company’s multinational clients and Russian organizations with international interests. She will develop an H&K-owned capability, as well as strategic alliances with companies that offer complimentary areas of expertise to provide a comprehensive service to multinationals as well as Russian clients.
Smirnova served previously as deputy general manager at VISA Association and was responsible for operational issues, public affairs and governmental and marketing communications, and coordinated VISA’s rebranding and marketing campaigns. Prior to that, she served for seven years with the U.S. State Department office in Moscow, coordinated activities of U.S. Ex-Im Bank in Russia and worked on the preparation for Russia’s WTO accession.