Procurement, health, regulatory, environment and Aboriginal specialists shape new team

OttawaSeptember 12, 2012Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), Canada’s No. 1-rated public relations and public affairs firm, today announces three new appointments in its Ottawa office. Effective immediately, Jane Billings joins the firm as vice-president and procurement group leader; Jack Hughes has been promoted to lead the public affairs unit; and, Kelly Cooper joins as an account director in its public affairs team.

“We’re in the people business, so having great people onboard is essential,” says Goldy Hyder, senior vice-president and general manager of H+K’s Ottawa office. “The addition of Jane, Jack and Kelly rounds out our communications and public affairs team and will help to advance our clients’ interests in Ottawa and beyond.”

With 30 years of experience in federal public service, including 20 years as an assistant deputy minister, Jane Billings is poised to consult on the most complex policy, management and operational projects. An economist by training, who has worked for the Privy Council Office, Public Safety Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada, she has provided counsel to the private sector and brokered agreements across the country. As the former senior assistant deputy minister at the Public Health Agency of Canada, Jane played leading roles organizing federal activities during the 2008 listeriosis and 2009 H1N1 outbreaks. She has also represented Canada internationally at the World Health Organization.

“Over the past few years, we’ve built a very senior, diverse and extremely well-respected procurement team and we’re privileged to have Jane lead it,” says Hyder.  “Her significant policy and procedures expertise will be invaluable to our clients across sectors.”

Prior to joining H+K this past spring, Jack Hughes was a lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Canada’s largest law firm, and served as the national leader of its defence and security industry group. His robust trade and regulatory background continues to be instrumental in many of H+K’s clients’ successes.

Kelly Cooper’s policy-related roles with the federal departments of natural resources, environment and Aboriginal affairs offers clients a deep understanding of environmental science and international environmental policy. No stranger to consulting, she’s also worked for two environmental consulting firms. Kelly’s 18 years of experience provides clients with a solid understanding of the Government of Canada structure, environment industry, natural resource sector and Aboriginal economic development issues that will benefit H+K’s services across the country, including the work the company does in Canada’s North. Among other key issues she has managed, Kelly worked on the Mackenzie and Alaska Gas Pipeline files while in government, as well as a variety of climate-change issues from both a domestic and international perspective.

“It’s a real testament to the Hill+Knowlton brand that consultants of Jane’s, Jack’s and Kelly’s calibre choose to work with us,” adds Hyder. “The value of their individual and collective wisdom is unmatched in our industry.”

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada

With nine offices across the country, Hill+Knowlton Strategies is a leader in both PR and government relations. The company is the No. 1-rated strategic communications firm in Canada. It specializes in corporate communications, public affairs, marketing communications, crisis, energy, technology, health care, digital communications, financial communications and transactions. The only communications firm to have earned the Order of Excellence from Excellence Canada, it is also recognized as one of the 2012 Best Workplaces in Canada. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has 84 offices in 46 countries as well as an extensive associate network and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.