Signal Vet Chelsea Koski Elevated to Chair of Firm’s Growing Strategic Communications Practice
WASHINGTON – Signal Group, a leading modern, integrated public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C., today announced the addition of five new hires to meet the demands of the firm’s growing Strategic Communications practice, including Chris Ortman, Executive Vice President; Jess McCarron, Vice President; Aisha Dukule, Senior Manager; Shane McCarthy, Senior Associate; and Will Burdulis, Communications Associate. The firm also announced that Managing Director Chelsea Koski, who has been with the firm for more than eight years, has been elevated to Chair of the Strategic Communications Practice.
“We are proud and excited to welcome such a strong caliber of talent to our growing team,” said Jessica Rihani, Signal’s Chief Operating Officer. “These additions, along with the elevation of Chelsea Koski to lead our Communications practice, illustrate Signal’s commitment to meet the needs of our clients in a rapidly changing public affairs environment.”
Chris Ortman has more than 15 years of experience in politics, government, entertainment, and non-profits, with a proven track record leading media relations campaigns, crisis communications, and message development strategies. Ortman previously served as Chief Spokesperson and Senior Vice President of Communications at the Motion Picture Association and as a national spokesperson and Obama appointee for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Public Affairs. Most recently, as the Founder and CEO of Ortman Strategies, he provided strategic communications counsel for a range of corporate and non-profit clients, as well as individuals with high-profile litigation cases as part of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.
Jess McCarron has nearly 10 years of experience as a trusted advisor and spokesperson to senior leadership in government, politics, and nonprofits. Her addition as Vice President further expands Signal’s growing Outdoors Practice, where she will combine her passion for nature with her considerable policy communications expertise to advise clients on conservation, sustainability, ocean, renewable energy, and other policy-oriented programs. McCarron previously served as Press Secretary and Strategic Communications Advisor to Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and as an Obama Administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as Deputy Press Secretary to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Aisha Dukule joins Signal as Senior Manager and brings five years of experience executing research-driven communications plans for advocacy campaigns, nonprofits, and political clients. Most recently, as a press officer at Friends of the Earth, Dukule managed media outreach efforts and coordinated messaging for legislative activities around conservation and environmental justice, which will add immediate value to our clients in the environmental and outdoors industries. She also brings international experience, having worked on political campaigns and international development in West Africa.
Shane McCarthy joins Signal as Senior Associate and brings a range of communications, policy, and international experience. Most recently, he was an associate at Cambridge Global Advisors, where he managed day-to-day strategic communications and media relations strategies for clients. McCarthy has a Master’s in public policy from Georgetown, has worked and traveled extensively in China, and previously held internships with Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, Sandy Hook Promise, and the Office of then-U.S. Representative Chris Murphy.
Will Burdulis joins Signal as an Associate and brings experience in writing and cross-cultural communication. After graduating from the University of Delaware with a BA in Asian Studies and a concentration in International Relations, Will traveled extensively throughout East and Southeast Asia. He previously served as an intern at Signal.
“With media, Capitol Hill, administration, and private sector experience, this talented group of public affairs professionals bring expertise and experience that can be applied across a broad range of industries and sectors,” said Chelsea Koski, Chair and Managing Director of the firm’s strategic communications business. “They know exactly how to bring politics, policy, and the media together to achieve results for our clients, a perfect fit for our modern public affairs approach.”
As Chair of Signal’s Communication practice, Koski is the ultimate problem-solver. Over the past 15 years, she has worked across multiple highly regulated industries to develop innovative communications strategies that reach policymakers, thought leaders, and the media. She currently focuses on integrated strategic communications, alliance development, and public affairs positioning, particularly in the healthcare sector. Koski previously held senior positions at Qorvis Communications and started her career at a local television station.
About Signal Group
Signal Group offers world-class counsel in modern public affairs. We deliver strategies and solutions driven by strategic advocacy, communications, digital and creative programs. Advising clients across the globe, including industry-leading companies, CEOs, governments, and non-profits, Signal offers tailored strategies for solving high-stakes challenges. We are a unique collection of top practitioners from our fields focused on delivering transformative outcomes for our client partners. For more information, please visit www.signaldc.com.