Edelman has named Gail Becker president of strategic partnerships and global integration, effective immediately. In the newly created position, Becker, currently chair of Canada, Latin America and U.S. Western Region, will identify and advance strategic alliances and partnerships globally and oversee the execution and integration of those business relationships across the network.
She will also have executive oversight of MATTER, the sports, entertainment and experiential marketing arm of DJE Holdings. Becker will report to Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, and continue to be based in Los Angeles. Alan VanderMolen, vice chairman DJE Holdings, will now oversee Canada and Latin America. He will report to Matthew Harrington, global chief operating officer in this role and continue to report to Edelman in his role as vice chairman.
“Clients are now looking to us to bring the big idea to the table and there are times we need outside help to execute them,” said Edelman. “Establishing new partnerships with local agencies in the advertising, experiential and production fields in key markets is one of the pillars of our strategy. For example, we’ve had great success partnering with Rediffusion, a leading Indian ad firm, on developing public relations and public affairs support for the Tata Group. We have also committed to make a significant investment in the entertainment sector to assist with the development of content and to scale the current capabilities of MATTER.”
“Strategic alliances are absolutely key to our path forward,” said Becker. “As such, we will look to form partnerships with a myriad of agencies to help deliver and execute big ideas for our clients across our network. I am simply thrilled to take on this important initiative for our firm.”
VanderMolen, in addition to his new role, will continue to oversee Edelman’s eight global practices—Consumer Marketing, Digital, Health, Corporate, Public Affairs, Technology, Business + Social Purpose and Crisis and Risk, Edelman’s intellectual property such as the Trust Barometer as well as Edelman’s sister agency Zeno.
“We are one of the top firms in Canada and want to be a top five agency in Brazil within the next few years,” said VanderMolen. “Both regions present significant growth opportunities. With the Olympics and World Cup coming to Brazil over the next three years, there is a tremendous amount of interest in the LatAm region from our global clients. And our energy and developing market clients are showing interest in establishing a bigger presence in Canada.”
Becker joined Edelman in 1999 as general manager of the Los Angeles office, and would go on to become president of the Western Region. She has a wealth of experience in consumer marketing, public affairs, technology and entertainment. Prior to Edelman, Becker was vice president of communications for Warner Bros., director of communications for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and on the national press staff for the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign in 1992. Under her leadership, Edelman’s revenue in Latin America has tripled and is now one of the two leading firms in Canada. She has served as a strategic counsel on a range of clients including Warner Bros., Starbucks, Microsoft, Norton and MPAA and led the development and launch of the Edelman Global Entertainment study. Becker also established and now serves as chair of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN). She began her career as a broadcast journalist and worked as a correspondent in Washington, D.C., covering Capitol Hill and the White House. A graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, Becker received a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.
An 11-year veteran of Edelman, VanderMolen is a specialist in corporate communications, stakeholder relations, and corporate social responsibility. He joined Edelman in 2002 as president, Asia Pacific. During his nine years in APAC, he quadrupled the firm’s business in the region and led Edelman’s entry into Japan, India, and Indonesia.
He also managed the firm’s acquisition of Pegasus Communications, Edelman’s sister firm in China. In 2005, PRWeek recognized him as its Asia-Pacific PR Professional of the Year. VanderMolen is a graduate of The Ohio State University.