NEW YORK—Hill+Knowlton Strategies has tapped Penny Mitchell to lead the firm’s US health practice. Her experience includes more than 16 years at FleishmanHillard, where she was senior partner and co-chair of the healthcare practice, as well as senior roles in healthcare specialty firms TogoRun and dna Communications. Mitchell joins the firm most recently from dna Communications, the healthcare specialty division of Weber Shandwick, where she was a senior vice president and director of new business.

WASHINGTON, DC—SKDKnickerbocker has added Alex Braun as managing director and head of its corporate and public policy research practice, which will offer a suite of research services to the firm's corporate and nonprofit clients, including polling, focus groups, IDIs and social and digital analytics capabilities. Prior to joining SKDK, Braun spent more than a decade at Penn Schoen Berland, most recently as its senior vice president.

LOS ANGELES—Porter Novelli has added Jess Schmidt to its Los Angeles office as a senior vice president in the consumer brand marketing practice. Prior to joining Porter Novelli, she was a vice president in the consumer marketing practice at Finn Partners, where she managed several food and beverage accounts, including Dole Packaged Foods, the happy egg co. and Auntie Anne’s. Previously, Schmidt spent five years with The Rogers Group.

WASHINGTON, DC—Zoe Thorogood, a UK public affairs and strategic communications expert with more than 14 years of experience in politics, journalism and communications, has joined APCO Worldwide’s Washington, DC, office as a director in the firm’s public affairs practice. Thorogood previously served as a campaign press advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron during his successful 2015 re-election campaign and was a political special advisor to Sir Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for the Department of Communities & Local Government. In addition, Frank Majoor, former permanent representative of the Netherlands to NATO and former permanent representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations, has joined APCO’s international advisory council. Majoor will guide APCO’s clients on international policy, security, economic and financial matters.

CHICAGO—Zapwater Communications has added Maya McDonald as senior social media manager, a newly-created position within the agency. McDonald joins after working at DDB Chicago as a social media manager. While at DDB, she spearheaded social content and strategy for McDonald's US. Prior to DDB, Maya was a part of the in-house Johnson & Johnson team, managing a division of social media specialists focused on consumer insights and analytics. 

CHICAGO—Current Marketing, an Interpublic Group agency, has hired Clint Bagley as a senior vice president in the San Francisco office, and Seth Goldberg as senior vice president, head of strategy in the Chicago office. Bagley previously served as vice president of corporate communications at Federated Media, a pioneer in content and influencer marketing. Goldberg was most recently a senior vice president, group planning director, at FCB Chicago.

MIAMI—Newlink Group has promoted Teresa Villarreal to senior vice president, as result of her leadership as head of the tourism communications practice. Villarreal launched her career in the public sector working in the communications department of Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo. She moved to Miami in 1995 and served as cultural attaché to the Consulate General of Mexico and later joined the Mexico Tourism Board as director for the Southeast region.

LOS ANGELES—The Pollack PR Marketing Group has promoted Will Ostedt to senior vice president and Mark Havenner to vice president. Ostedt, an equity owner in the agency, has been with Pollack for 17 years, working on clients including Rain Bird, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, Wham-O and more and serving as a sociologist and behavioral analyst. Havenner, who has been with the agency for over seven years, is responsible for the strategic direction of marketing and communications programs.

WASHINGTON, DC—Public affairs and communications firm Clyde Group today announced two new hires: Aubrey Quinn as vice president and John Moffett as senior associate. Most recently, Quinn led marketing and communications efforts for Lansinoh Laboratories, and previously she was vice president of communications for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Moffett has worked on political campaigns including the 2012 Obama presidential re-election effort.

PLYMOUTH, MA—Hollywood Public Relations, a boutique PR and communications firm specializing in consumer products and business services, has promoted Courtney Curzi to senior vice president and Jeff Dillow to vice president. Curzi joined Hollywood in 2012 and was previously a vice president; Dillow, promoted from senior account director, joined as a consultant in 2013 and was brought on full time in March of 2014.