Fleishman-Hillard has handed the reins of its Washington, D.C., office to Kris Balderston, a deputy chief of staff to Sen. Hilary Clinton who followed her to the State Department.

Bill Pendergast, who led the D.C. office for the past three years as GM, has relocated to Dallas.

Balderston recently served as special representative for State's Global Partnership Initiative, Clinton's push to engage privates businesses, universities and other groups for issues like HIV/AIDS, human rights and climate change.

At F-H, he takes the senior partner and general manager titles in D.C.Martha Boudreau, an F-H president and senior partner who covers the Mid-Atlantic and Latin America for the firm, praised Balderston's understanding of the "intersection" of business, government and communications.

Before moving to the State Dept., he was Clinton's deputy chief of staff from 2002-09 and earlier worked cabinet affairs in the Clinton White House. Earlier stints included posts with Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, Sen. Majority Leader George Mitchell and the Dept. of Labor during the Clinton administration.

F-H is part of Omnicom.

F-H's federal work has recently included the Depts. of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.