The strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker continues to expand with new hires and a new office in New York’s state capitol. Heading up the firm’s new Albany office is Morgan Hook, who previously served as communications director for former New York Gov. David Paterson (D). Hook heads to SKD from the communications shop at the State College of New York. He will serve as vice president at the firm led by former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.
SKDKnickerbocker has also brought on Jill Zuckman as managing director for its communications and public affairs practice. The former journalist comes to SKD from the Department of Transportation where she was serving as director of public affairs for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Prior to her work in the Obama administration, Zuckman wrote for the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe where she covered Congress and national politics. SKD provides strategic advice and media consulting to a wide range of corporate and political clients.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has added longtime Republican strategist Scott Reed to its political shop ahead of the 2012 elections. Reed, who managed former Sen. Bob Dole’s (R-Kansas) 1996 presidential campaign will serve as the Chamber’s top political strategist. Reed currently heads the Washington-based consulting firm Chesapeake Enterprises. As lead strategist, Reed will head up the Chamber’s extensive voter education and media efforts.
Along with Reed’s hire, the Chamber has promoted Rob Engstrom to serve as senior vice president of political affairs and federation relations. Engstrom will helm the daily operations of the Chamber’s political, grassroots and election-related activities for the 2012 cycle. Engstrom, a former C&E Rising Star, played a leading role in the Chamber’s 2010 political and media efforts, which doubled compared to the 2008 cycle. Engstrom has previously served in the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform as senior vice president for political and state affairs.
The New Hampshire Republican Party has brought on Tory Mazzola to serve as its new executive director. Mazzola heads to the Granite State from the National Republican Congressional Committee where he served as Northeast regional press secretary during the 2010 cycle. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Mazzola isn’t new to the state–he lived there for the past few years during his time as spokesman at the NRCC.
Washington-based Communications firm Hamilton Place Strategies has named Kate Bruns director. Bruns comes to the firm, headed by Managing Partner Tony Fratto, from Capitol Hill where she most recently served as press secretary to Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Bruns also served as communications director to former Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.).
Jennifer Morris has joined Nyhus Communications as a public affairs account supervisor. Morris heads to the firm from Capitol Hill where she served as national press secretary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Her campaign experience includes work on Republican statewide races in Washington, Michigan, Kentucky and Louisiana. Nyhus Communications, which provides public relations and social media services for corporate and political clients, has offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Democratic polling giant Global Strategy Group has hired one of President Obama’s senior communications hands to head up its Washington, D.C. operations. The firm has brought on Jen Psaki to serve as senior vice president and managing director in D.C. Psaki was previously serving as deputy assistant to the president and deputy communications director. At the White House, she headed up communications on economic and domestic policy issues including energy, education and tax policy.
Compiled by Jordan Terrell