WASHINGTON, D.C.— Hill & Knowlton has hired Capitol Hill veteran Peter Jeffries, formerly senior advisor and spokesperson for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) as senior vice president for public policy. The firm also named Paul Clark director of U.S. crisis media, Nicki Hensley as director of media for Washington, D.C., and Sean Kevelighan as director of technology policy.
Jeffries joins H&K after eight years as a senior adviser and spokesperson to Hastert, who praised him as “a valued counselor, strategist, and loyal friend for the last eight years. As one who has been at my side since I was chief deputy whip and national security subcommittee chairman, he’s earned my trust during our legislative victories on healthcare, Medicare, energy and other politically sensitive issues.”
In this new position, Jeffries will leverage his 14 years on Capitol Hill on behalf of H&K clients, serving as a liaison to congressional leadership, the White House, and the current administration. He will also provide strategic communications and media counsel, as well as represent the firm in print and on television and radio, providing political commentary on major policy issues.
Says Gene Reineke, COO of Hill & Knowlton USA and general manager, Hill & Knowlton Washington, “As the longest-serving communications director for a modern-era Speaker, Pete’s wealth of experience and contacts will help our clients reach the decision-makers who matter faster and more effectively.”
During his time on Capitol Hill, Jeffries has worked on legislative battles and political campaigns for Speaker Hastert, US Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), and the late US Rep. Bill Emerson (R-Mo).
In addition, H&K named Paul Clark was named to the position of U.S. director of crisis media. In his new role, Clark will lead a team of senior counselors across Hill & Knowlton USA in helping clients navigate the intersection of media relations and crisis communications. He has run a number of major crisis campaigns at H&K including a two-year, multi-million dollar effort on behalf of a company that, as a result of purchasing another company, faced the largest federal Medicare-related fraud settlement in history. He also worked with Enron, MCI and Tyco as they recovered from high-profile crises.
Nicki Hensley, senior vice president, has been named to as director of Hill & Knowlton Washington’s media team. Sean Kevelighan has been appointed director of technology policy, a new position.