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Hill+Knowlton Strategies Appoints Global and U.S. Leaders of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Date: Sep 22, 2020

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Appoints Global and U.S. Leaders of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

September 22, NEW YORK – Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), one of the world’s leading public relations firms, has named Azurée Montoute-Lewis as Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Bridgette O’Neal as Head of U.S. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Montoute-Lewis will join H+K’s Global Leadership Council, reporting to global chairman and CEO AnnaMaria DeSalva, effective September 15. O’Neal will become a member of H+K’s U.S. Executive Management Team, reporting to global president and CEO of the Americas, Richard Millar, effective immediately.

“Azurée and Bridgette are accomplished business leaders with substantial expertise improving diversity, equity and inclusion,” said AnnaMaria DeSalva, Global Chairman and CEO of H+K. “In their new roles, they will work across our company on all human capital matters to help ensure that H+K maintains an urgent focus on DE&I as a principal means by which we fulfill our purpose. Their appointments are a key step in the journey we have undertaken to strengthen H+K in this regard, and I look forward to working with them to make a lasting difference for our employees, our clients, and our industry.”

Montoute-Lewis joins H+K from Fitch Ratings where she developed and led the organization’s first global diversity & inclusion strategy and expanded the talent management function by establishing the global talent and D&I strategic agenda, building the employee resource group framework, designing high-potential leadership programs and leading the company’s executive coaching practice.

Prior to Fitch Ratings, Montoute-Lewis served in global talent and diversity leadership roles at Citigroup for almost a decade, with oversight spanning the company’s global employee network program and the Black Heritage Affinity Group; leadership standards, executive development and assessment; and practices to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in talent reviews and succession planning. Her experience in the financial services industry includes strategy and competitive intelligence for Dun & Bradstreet as well as product management with JP Morgan Chase. Montoute-Lewis holds an MBA in Marketing, Management and Leadership from the Stern School of Business at NYU and will soon complete her 2nd master’s degree in Organizational Development and Talent Management at NYU.

“H+K has made a commitment to foster a culture rooted in diversity and inclusion and to establish the structure and discipline to sustain this work for years to come. Applying my experience to build such a culture, create a stronger business with equality at its core, and work closely with an engaged global leadership team is a wonderful opportunity for me and for our H+K colleagues around the world,” said Montoute-Lewis.

As the new head of DE&I for the U.S., O’Neal brings more than 25 years of experience in brand advertising, multicultural marketing, and diversity, equity and inclusion, most recently serving in key leadership roles at Interpublic Group (IPG). During her tenure at IPG, O’Neal designed programs and initiatives and led the strategic implementation of the award-winning Business Resource Groups (BRGs), including the Asian Heritage Group, Black Employee Network, IPGLBT, SOMOS, and the Women’s Leadership Network. Earlier in her career, O’Neal led integrated marketing programs for Ebony and Jet magazines as head of marketing media at Johnson Publishing Company, and served in key marketing leadership roles at Time, Inc., and Marriott International.

Richard Millar added, “This new U.S. leadership role is essential to help us effect real change within our company, our clients and in our industry and business at- large. I am pleased to have Bridgette on our team as she will define H+K’s short- term and long-term diversity + inclusion goals, programs and metrics that help best serve our clients and drive our culture and business results.”

“Throughout my 25-year career, I have made inclusion and diversity the true north of both my work and life. In bringing my experience and passion to this important new role with H+K, I will work to keep our H+K employees at the center of our work and progress, learning from our past and focused on growth through diversity and inclusion in the years to come,” said O’Neal.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is an international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. H+K has over 80 offices in more than 40 markets, as well as an extensive associate network, 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 citizenship and sustainability consultancy, and H+K Smarter™, a behavioral science unit. Headquartered in New York, the firm is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups.

For more information about H+K, click here, follow us on Twitter here, like us on Facebook here, and follow us on LinkedIn here.

Ed Patterson
Global Communications Lead
+1 212 885 0314