Debra DeShong
Debra DeShong

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has hired Debra DeShong, who has strong ties to the Democratic party, as executive VP of public affairs.

She will join PhRMA in mid-December from MGM Resorts International, where she is senior VP-global communications and industry affairs.

DeShong was chief of staff to former US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, director of communications at the Democratic National Committee, director of communications for ex-Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli and press secretary to Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer.

She also was executive VP/managing director of PA at Subject Matter and co-founded Point Black Public Affairs.

Stephen Ubi, PhRMA president/CEO, said DeShong has led PA campaigns that “punctured the din and advanced policy priorities.”

He expects her to be an asset to PhRMA as it communicates “about the value new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases can bring to patients, the health care system and the economy, as well as the importance of proactive, patient-centered reforms and our work to improve equity.”