WASHINGTON, DC—Jones Public Affairs, a specialist in the healthcare sector, has named Valerie Carter as senior vice president and head the health policy team in the Washington, DC, office.

Carter brings over 20 years of experience in public affairs, government relations, advocacy and communications disciplines in for-profit, not-for-profit and consulting organizations. Prior to joining JPA, she served as vice president of public affairs at Ricochet PR, where she was responsible for managing and directing all public affairs accounts and projects, with a focus in healthcare companies.

She also spent 15 years at Merck & Co., where she rose to lead the company’s government relations communications efforts, with a focus on extensive grassroots legislative action and Political Action Committee programs as well as lobbying. She also previously served as head of the Project Management Institute’s Washington office, where she managed PMI’s government relations programs and global initiatives.

In addition, Regan Hiatt will join the firm’s Cambridge, Mass office as a senior account executive, with a focus on advocacy relations and developing partnerships between healthcare stakeholders and patient advocacy groups. She comes to JPA from the Cancer Support Community, where she was director of communications.