WASHINGTON, DC—The Motion Picture Association of America has promoted Michael O’Leary to senior executive vice president, global policy and external affairs and hired Laura Nichols as executive vice president, global communications.

Howard Gantman, the MPAA’s vice president, corporate communications, who has worked with incoming chairman and CEO Chris Dodd during his transition, will remain in that role, and report to

O’Leary, a veteran of the Department of Justice, will supervise all international, federal and state affairs operations around the world as well as the Association’s technology and research efforts. Previously, O’Leary had been executive VP, government affairs, responsible for the development and the implementation of the MPAA’s domestic government policy priorities and federal and state legislative and regulatory strategies.

Nichols will oversee all international and domestic communications, media relations, new media development and special events. She previously served as senior fellow and senior vice president for communications and strategies at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, DC think tank. Earlier, she served as senior vice president for corporate communications at Public Broadcasting Service and as strategist and spokesperson for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt.