Senior Kerry Adviser Drew O’Brien Joins Weber Shandwick to Lead Global Partnerships
NEW YORK – May 4, 2016 – Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, announced today that Drew O’Brien has joined the firm as executive vice president of global partnerships as part of the Global Corporate practice. O’Brien was formerly the special representative for global partnerships in the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships and a senior adviser to Secretary Kerry for more than a decade. O’Brien is one of the foremost experts on engaging the private sector in diplomatic and development efforts. Based in Boston, he will work with leading public and private organizations around the world to drive corporate social responsibility initiatives and develop partnerships that create market opportunity, facilitate social impact and generate high-profile brand enhancement.
“Our clients around the world are navigating complex issues, and we need to help them think creatively about how private-public partnerships can lead to positive business outcomes. There’s no one more qualified than Drew to help our corporate clients effectively realize their social and business objectives simultaneously,” said Micho Spring, chair, Global Corporate Practice and president, New England, Weber Shandwick.
In his post at the U.S. Department of State, O’Brien developed sustainable public-private partnerships globally, including mobilizing various organizations in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014. O’Brien also created and led the State Department’s first-ever Partnership Opportunity Delegations (PDOs), which connect U.S. entrepreneurs, investors and Fortune 500 company leaders with government ministers and industry counterparts around the world to seed collaborations. Prior to the State Department, O’Brien served as state director for John Kerry while he was U.S. Senator of Massachusetts. Having held that position for nearly a decade, O’Brien played a lead role in many major policy and legislative deliberations, including negotiations around foreign relations, small business issues, veterans’ affairs, immigration concerns, environmental policy, housing development and healthcare issues.
Earlier in his career, O’Brien worked on Thomas M. Menino’s successful campaign for mayor of Boston. He served as a special assistant and as chief speechwriter to the mayor for several years before being appointed executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services. O’Brien later served as a special assistant to the director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
O’Brien served as deputy chancellor at the University of Massachusetts from 2005-2007, where he oversaw key aspects of the university’s external affairs operations and was the University’s top liaison to the federal and state governments. He also advised the university’s efforts around community relations, communications and strategic economic development partnerships. At Weber Shandwick, O’Brien will also lead the agency’s efforts working with educational institutions to advance their missions and reputation in the market.
“Weber Shandwick and its diverse and impressive roster of clients are already executing some of the most innovative partnerships around the world – driving shared value, business results and social impact,” O’Brien said. “I look forward to helping continue and advance that important work.”
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About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 78 cities across 34 countries with a network extending to 126 cities in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work, including being honored as PRWeek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2015 and 2016, an Ad Age A-List Agency in 2014 and 2015, and The Holmes Report’s Global Agency of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Weber Shandwick and its Prime unit have won a combined 25 Cannes Lions since 2009. Weber Shandwick was also named a Best Place to Work by Ad Age in 2014 and 2015 and PRWeek in 2013 and 2014. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.