The Motion Picture Association has named Jonathan Powell senior VP for strategic communications, a newly created post.

Powell joins the MPA from the State Dept., where he handled speechwriting duties and advised on press engagement, social media and public diplomacy matters. Earlier he did speechwriting stints at the Commerce Dept. and Dept. of Homeland Security.

Powell also served as advisor to Los Angeles mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa.

At MPA, he reports to Charles Rivkin, CEO, and Emily Lenzner, executive vice president of media relations and communications, who is leaving her post.

Rivkin said Powell’s global policy expertise and his gift of connecting with a wide range of audiences makes him the ideal choice for the new position.