Edelman has hired Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services communications chief Gary Karr to its Health Policy and Public Affairs Practice.
Karr was director of media affairs at CMS, where he served as administrator Mark McClellan's chief spokesperson during the roll-out of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. He becomes a VP at Edelman, report- ing to Peter Segall, general manager of the firm's Washington office and head of the practice.
In a statement, Segall lauded Karr as “an accomplished government spokesman and communications strategist. His skills, experience and contacts will be a major asset.”
Karr's deputy at CMS, Peter Ashkenaz, is stepping in as acting director of media affairs for the time being.
Before joining CMS in August, 2004, Karr headed federal media relations for the American Insurance Association during its successful push for terrorism insurance legislation following the September 11 attacks.