Hill+Knowlton appoints new General Manager for Saudi Arabia

Global communications firm Hill+Knowlton Strategies has welcomed Matthew Dessani to the role of General Manager for Saudi Arabia. Matthew brings over two decades of multinational brand agency management experience to his new role, having previously lived and worked in the UK, Romania, Kuwait and Dubai. He will now be responsible for leading the firm’s Saudi team, under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Turki Alfaisal, focusing on strategy development, creativity and client service.

“Two decades of global marketing experience and international brand building provide Matthew with a fundamental understanding of how to frame an issue, define and target audiences and how to develop and deliver compelling campaigns across multiple platforms,” says Sconaid McGeachin, President and CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Africa, Middle East and Turkey.

Matthew adds “There is probably no greater or more exciting challenge globally for a communications professional than that presented by Saudi Arabia right now. The Kingdom is on the cusp of a remarkable economic transformation, while its position at the centre of global geo-politics and its size as the preeminent economy of the Middle East makes this a compelling opportunity.”

Hill+Knowlton Dubai promotes Lisa Welsh

Lisa Welsh has been promoted to General Manager at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Dubai. Previously Deputy General Manager Dubai, Lisa brings with her years of experience in integrated communications having lead the consultancy’s Health+Wellness practice across the Middle East and Africa, tripling its size in the last three years. She also has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical sector where she advised regional and global brands, ranging from regulatory issues management to market entry and influencer engagement.

“We’ve had an impressive 2015 with significant growth across all our key sectors specifically healthcare, sports + entertainment and brand marketing,” says Lisa. “We continue to drive our clients businesses through creative integrated campaigns that deliver impact and enhance their reputation.I am looking forward to the opportunities for further growth in 2016.”

Lucy Harvey promoted to Regional Director

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has promoted Lucy Harvey to Regional Director. Lucy joined the Hill+Knowlton Middle East team in 2010, as General Manager of the Abu Dhabi office and most recently as General Manager for the Dubai office where she also lead the region’s Marketing Communications Practice.

In her new role as Regional Director, Lucy will support operations, strategy and key client relationships across the wider Middle East region and will work across all eight Hill+Knowlton offices in the Middle East and within the Hill+Knowlton EMEA network.

“Hill+Knowlton has a unique regional network with fully owned offices in key Middle East locations, so I am particularly excited to be working with these talented and diverse teams in my new role,” says Lucy. “We’re all looking forward to creating more world-class and award-winning 360° campaigns in 2016.”

Hill+Knowlton AD welcomes new GM

Stuart Macaulay has joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Abu Dhabi office as General Manager. Formerly GM at Weber Shandwick’s Qatar office, and previously the Head of EMAE PR for the London-based PR firm Cognito, Stuart brings with him over 20 years of experience in communications.

At Cognito he oversaw integrated communication programmes throughout the Middle East, UK, US, Canada and Africa, managing client teams, strategic planning, media relations, crisis communications, profile raising and B2B communications alongside branding, messaging projects and government communications. In his new role as General Manger, Stuart will be responsible for the management of the team, and servicing of the consultancy’s key Abu Dhabi-based clients.

“In their 30th year of operation in the Middle East, I am excited to be joining H+K during such a period of growth, creativity and success, says Stuart. “The UAE capital provides exciting opportunities for growth and I look forward to working with the vibrant team, and the wider regional network, on diverse and engaging communications campaigns and consultancy.”

Hill+Knowlton Strategies launches H+K HER

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has launched H+K HER programme to support female employees. The programme is designed to provide information, inspiration and support to female employees as they develop throughout their careers.

MeetHER showcases women in business and SpeakHER is a drive to increase the visibility of female talent in the industry. The mentorship programme for women in the consultancy consists of both female and male mentors from across H+K.

“We are proud that our leadership teams in both the UK and broader EMEA region are evenly split between men and women, but we recognise there is more to be done,” says Lars Erik Grønntun, Chairman & CEO, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. “We are committed to ensuring that there is equal gender representation in the creation and recognition of the work we produce for our clients, and that our people are empowered to meet that challenge.”

In addition to the launch of the H+K HER programme, H+K is also proud to be working alongside the Dazed Group to present Female Firsts; an initiative which launched at Cannes Lions 2015 and champions female directors in the film industry.