Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, hires Mahen Gunaratna as chief public affairs officer and senior vice president, effective June 1. Gunaratna currently serves as communications director for New Jersey governor Phil Murphy. He was previously deputy communications director for former NYC mayor Bill de Blasio and served as Florida communications director for Hillary for America during the 2016 campaign. “With his deep experience at every level of government, Mahen is the right person to help Everytown spread the word about our work,” said president of Everytown for Gun Safety president John Feinblatt.
GEICO names Damon Burrell chief marketing officer. Burrell comes to GEICO from The Estée Lauder Companies, where he served as CMO and senior vice president of marketing, North America. Before that, he held senior vice president of marketing roles at Viacom, leading the Nickelodeon and MTV brands. “We are fortunate to have someone with Damon’s insights and experience leading our marketing team,” said GEICO chairman, president and CEO Todd Combs. “I have no doubt he will continue advancing our marketing capabilities and building strong consumer focused engagement across all channels.”
Assemble, which has offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, brings on Mark Paustenbach as a partner. Paustenbach comes to the agency from ROKK Solutions, where he was a senior vice president. He was previously managing director at Ambassador Public Affairs. Pautenbach served as s deputy communications director at the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and national press secretary on the Biden for President campaign during the 2008 primaries. “Mark’s wide range of experience across business, politics, and advocacy makes him a valuable asset for our clients,” said Assemble CEO Mark Skidmore.
Online dating app OKCupid brings on Michael Kaye as associate director of global communications. Kaye returns to the company after working at LinkedIn as product communications manager for North America. He was previously at OKCupid as senior global public relations manager. In his new position, Kaye will lead public relations programming for the brand in the US and in key markets across Europe and the Middle East, as well as supporting its regional teams in South Asia. He reports to OKCupid global chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley.
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