Havas PR North America has brought in Newark Public Schools communications chief Renee Harper in a new executive VP role as the firm eyes forays into education, philanthropy and NGO business.

Renee HarperHarper's tenure in Newark, starting as a PR consultant and ending with a year-long contract as chief communications officer, spanned all three of those sectors as she directed external affairs for the Brick City's schools through its $100M donation by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Havas NA CEO Marian Salzman said Harper will serve as a strategic advisor to her, in addition to her focus on new business. Harper will continue in the Newark role through the end of her contract this month.

She previously worked with Bell Pottinger USA and ran her own Dubai-based shop, Gambate Communications Consultancy, a former Ketchum affiliate with blue chips clients like Unilever, Air Arabia, Dell and Kodak.

Havas works with the Bob Woodruff Foundation and Baltimore's SafeandSound.org campaign for youth, among its non-profit clients.