WASHINGTON, D.C.—Waggener Edstrom Worldwide has added Marshall Phelps, recently retired corporate vice president for IP policy and strategy at Microsoft, and Ken Rietz, veteran of senior public affairs and communications roles at Burson-Marsteller, to its global public affairs advisory council. The two will provide strategic counsel to WE’s global public affairs practice and clients on a range of issues impacting business, government policy and public debate.
Phelps has worked with governments, corporations and trade organizations to advance awareness of intellectual property issues. Before joining Microsoft, he had a long career with IBM, serving as vice president of intellectual property and licensing.
Rietz is past worldwide vice chairman and chief operating officer of Burson-Marsteller, and former chairman of the firm’s global public affairs practice. Before that he served as a chief legislative advisor to a senior member of Congress, as deputy chairman and political director of the Republican National Committee, and as executive vice president of MGM Records.
“Our clients’ issues today are more global and complex as the intersection of business, society and policy continue to converge,” says Torod Neptune, senior vice president and global public affairs practice leader. “The ability to add the level of seasoned counsel and international expertise that Ken and Marshall represent will provide an immediate benefit.”
Phelps and Rietz replace two founding members of the WE Global Public Affairs Advisory Council who recently have taken on significant new roles: in March, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gary Locke as U.S. Secretary of Commerce and in August, HP named Larry Irving as vice president of global government affairs.