Hill+Knowlton Strategies announced the appointment of Kelli Parsons as Global Chair, Corporate Affairs, effective June 15, 2020. In this new role, Parsons will advance the firm’s capabilities in corporate brand and reputation, financial communications, crisis and issues management, employee engagement and change management, and ESG strategies, to benefit clients worldwide.
Parsons is a global business and corporate affairs leader with extensive experience in delivering business and cultural transformation, sustainable growth and social impact. She has served as chief communications and marketing officer for three Fortune 50 companies and a global private equity firm, strengthening reputation and brand equity through periods of large-scale change.
“Corporate communication has always been a major driver of value creation, and that has never been more true for our clients than it is today,” said AnnaMaria DeSalva, global chairman and chief executive officer, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. “Our clients need H+K to excel in corporate affairs advisory to ensure they convert their strategic and commercial opportunities, manage their risk, and defend and grow reputation. I could not be more pleased to appoint Kelli to this key leadership role, as she will set a high standard that benefits both our clients and our employees. I look forward to working with her.”
“I’m deeply invested in the success of Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) as they lead their teams, advise their CEOs and boards and build trust with their many stakeholders to create business value, particularly in these immensely challenging times. We will partner with them to navigate the current crisis, reset to emerge stronger, and create enduring business and societal outcomes,” said Parsons. “This iconic firm is a special place to me, and I look forward to working with H+K’s exceptional people to continue its growth and renewal and build a bright future for our clients, colleagues and communities.”
Most recently as Chief Communications Officer at United Technologies, Parsons created the multi-stakeholder communication strategy for the company’s transformation, including its integration of Rockwell Collins, spins of Carrier and Otis and $74 billion merger with Raytheon, while managing complex geopolitical issues.
As CCO of Fannie Mae following the global financial crisis, Parsons rebuilt trust and reputation during the historic turnaround of the $3 trillion housing finance company. She authored the strategy and message to foster common purpose among employees and communicate the company’s progress to policy makers and regulators, investors, and consumers.
Earlier she served as corporate practice leader and head of the Washington, D.C., and New York markets at Hill & Knowlton where she led a financial and cultural transformation. Parsons advised CEOs, boards of directors and heads of state on critical issues, earning a reputation for creating value in defining moments, such as the aftermath of 9/11. Beginning her career as a television news reporter, Parsons covered U.S. presidential campaigns, the humanitarian crisis in Bosnia and Hurricane Andrew.