June 11, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), an international public relations agency, has appointed James Barbour as Director of Public Affairs in the US. A former H+K staffer in London, Barbour joins H+K in D.C. after leading the European Union’s public affairs and communications function across the US.
“I’m thrilled to be back at H+K, it’s the perfect home for a public affairs professional with a global outlook,” said Barbour. “Leaders today need help understanding and communicating honestly with an increasingly global, complex and informed public. That’s where I can bring new perspectives and real value.”
Barbour has spent the past four years as spokesperson and counselor of public affairs at the European Union in D.C. where he delivered high impact and successful campaigns and coordinated public policy activities of all 28 Member States. His expertise in public affairs is internationally recognized having provided the most senior leaders of the EU and its Member States with analysis of US politics and advice on how to best interact.
Prior to his time at the EU, Barbour was the press secretary and head of communications at the British Embassy in D.C. where he advised senior officials on US developments. An avid early-adopter, Barbour spearheaded the practical application of the constantly evolving concept of digital diplomacy, using emerging digital channels and platforms to find new ways to converse with diverse audiences – including taking the European Union to the SXSW Conference in Austin for the first time.
Richard Millar, H+K Global President, said, “James has an extensive diplomatic background, as well as expertise in thought leadership, technology and public affairs. Having worked in D.C. for eight years he is well-connected in the policy, think tank, embassy and media worlds and will be a great asset for our clients across all sectors.”
Barbour will be working on a diverse portfolio of clients as well as developing new business opportunities. Prior to his first stint at H+K he represented the UK in South Africa, and as a desk officer in London he covered a broad array of issues including post-conflict reconstruction, human rights, economic policy and corporate social responsibility.
H+K has offices in more than 40 countries worldwide, delivering award winning campaigns to clients across all sectors and disciplines and with a focus on continued innovation for the industry. Recent innovations include Flight School +, a crisis communications training and simulation tool, Better Impact™, a new approach to brand purpose and CSR, and H+K Smarter™, a behavioral science unit.