Former U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Deputy Chief of Staff joins H+K U.S. Healthcare Team

by | Feb 18, 2022

Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), one of the world’s leading international public relations agencies, has appointed Judy Stecker as Senior Vice President, U.S. Healthcare Media and Public Affairs Lead. Reporting to U.S. Head of Healthcare, Mary Jane Walker, Stecker will work across H+K’s growing U.S. Healthcare portfolio.

Judy Stecker

Judy Stecker

Stecker joins H+K from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), where she recently held the role of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Strategy – managing public affairs, congressional, intergovernmental, external affairs, media relations, and secretarial operations for the Cabinet-level department.

“I’m thrilled to officially welcome Judy to our team of talented healthcare advisors,” said Walker. “With her respected experience in both the public and private sectors, she brings a unique level of strategic expertise to our clients, as they solve for some of the most pressing healthcare challenges of our time.”

Stecker is a trusted advisor with more than 15 years of experience managing diverse teams focused on strategic communications, policy, government affairs and media relations. Stecker first joined HHS as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, where she acted as the Secretary’s principal advisor, and the department’s top authority on media relations and public affairs.

During her tenure at HHS, Stecker served as the lead executive for all COVID-19 and Operation Warp Speed external outreach, including communicating vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic development and distribution plans to relevant stakeholders. Stecker also supported internal and external communications campaigns on important public health issues including reducing teen smoking/vaping, addressing the opioid crisis, and reducing maternal mortality. She led all external engagement for HHS senior leadership, where she worked to build productive working relationships with key Capitol Hill lawmakers, governors, media, and other external stakeholders.

“We are at the forefront of innovation and transformation in healthcare, where communications and reputation have never been more critical,” said Stecker. “The past few years have demonstrated the tremendous accomplishments that can be achieved for the benefit of human health when the public and private sectors work together. I am excited to join the stellar team of industry-leading experts at H+K as we deliver forward-thinking strategies to meet the evolving global challenges our health clients are facing and amplify the tremendous advances happening in the healthcare space.”

Richard Millar, H+K’s Global President and CEO of the Americas, commented: “Over the past year we have seen tremendous momentum across our U.S. health business with clients seeking creative solutions to their increasingly complex challenges. Judy joins us at an exciting time, as we continue to expand our healthcare talent in both our New York and Washington D.C. offices. I am confident that her unique insights and knowledge will serve as a catalyst in helping us deliver transformative health public affairs campaigns for our clients.”

Stecker holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and Women’s studies from Syracuse University, and a minor in Public Communications. She also earned a Master of Arts in Communication, Culture & Technology from Georgetown University.

The appointment of Stecker continues a pattern of high profile hires as Hill+Knowlton advances its transformation in the US and globally with recent appointments including Mary Jane Walker as U.S. Head of HealthcareColby Vogt as U.S. Head of Data+AnalyticsLaurie Rosenfield as Global Chief People OfficerGrant Toups as Global Chief Technology Officer and Guillaume Klossa as Senior Vice President, European Affairs.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is an international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational, and global clients. H+K operates 77 offices in 43 countries worldwide, as well as an extensive associate network, delivering award-winning campaigns to clients across all sectors and disciplines and with a focus on continued innovation for the industry. Headquartered in New York, the firm is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups.

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