Karen Hagens, a strategic client advisor with more than 15 years of healthcare leadership experience, joined APCO Worldwide as a senior director, Kelly Williamson, president, North America, announced.
“From building brands and elevating executives, to launching products and driving business growth, Karen has a proven track record of utilizing her deep industry insight and versatile skillsets to help C-suite executives stay agile and navigate complex challenges and unexpected changes,” said Williamson, “She is a thoughtful, influential leader, and a trusted business partner. I look forward to working with Karen to help clients identify business opportunities and become marketplace leaders.”
Prior to joining APCO, Hagens served as the head of U.S. Pharma Communications at GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), where she oversaw internal and external communication efforts. Based in Raleigh for 15 years, she worked with senior executives to establish a comprehensive strategy to build the company’s profile and promote growth for its largest portfolio. She also developed multi-pronged media relations strategies and thought leadership programs, resulting in multiple speaking engagements and earned media placements in premier media outlets.
“APCO’s health team offers a deep understanding of complex healthcare policies and market environments both at the global and local levels,” said Hagens. “I look forward to collaborating with the incredible group of health professionals at APCO and utilizing my experience to help clients achieve their objectives.”
The addition of Hagens follows the recent naming of Courtney Crowder as the managing director of APCO’s Raleigh office. Since officially opening in 2014, the Raleigh office has quickly established itself as a key player not only in North Carolina, but across North America and around the world. By leveraging APCO’s global resources and collaborating with a diverse team of professional across the firm’s international network, the Raleigh office has offered local and global clients unique and tailored approaches to solve complex challenges and capitalize on business opportunities.
APCO’s industry-leading health team, coupled with APCO’s Health Advisory Board members—a global, high-level group of public health leaders, former heads of communications of large pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and former health policy officials who provide executive-level counsel on healthcare issues and industry trends—includes industry veterans Jack Kalavritinos, Alexandra Lazorchak, Lance Leggitt, Leslie Norwalk, Dr. Niranjan Pai, Dr. Kavita Patel, Bill Pierce, Wayne Pines, Nancy Turett, James Tyrrell, Peter Urbanowicz, Anne Wang, and James Yi.
Hagens is joining APCO during a landmark year for the company, as 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of its founding. Established by Margery Kraus as a one-woman operation in 1984, APCO has grown to a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with nearly 800 employees based in more than 30 global markets.
Before joining GSK, Hagens worked as a sales representative for Bayer Healthcare, and served as marketing director for software application company Broadscape.com. She began her career in the media industry, working as a reporter and assignment editor for an ABC affiliate in New Orleans. Hagens received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Broadcast Journalism from Loyola University, where she graduated cum laude.