NEW YORK—Stephen Naru has joined Burson-Marsteller as head of US media relations and managing director in the US corporate and financial practice. Naru joins Burson-Marsteller from FleishmanHillard, where he served as global media relations practice leader and worked with clients including AT&T, Monsanto, Barnes & Noble, Coty, Lenovo, Huawei, Hyatt, The New York Times Company and Columbia Business School. Before that, he was interim vice president of strategic communications and external relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and led global media relations for Thomson Reuters.

CHICAGO—Sara Conley has been named vice president and officer at Public Communications Inc., where she has been an account manager and counselor specializing in healthcare and not-for-profit clients. She joined the PCI team in 2004. Since 2007, she has led a team of media specialists in promoting an extensive program of fundraising events across the country on behalf of Free to Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization.

 RALEIGH, NC—French/West/Vaughan has hired Dawn Marie Strzepek as associate creative director. A former art director for the emerging business team at Petco Animal Supplies, Strzepek oversaw the Unleashed by Petco and Pooch Hotel brands. In addition, Mibbie Majors joins the agency as media director from Carat in Detroit, and Jarrett Arant comes to FWV as senior designer. The firm has also promoted Scott Palmer to digital and social media director.

 DENVER—Grayling has named Steven Palmer, managing director of its Denver office, to an additional role as head of the US state and local government affairs practice. Palmer brings more than two decades of public affairs experience and will work closely with the agency’s state and local teams across the nation—including Washington, DC, Tallahassee, Denver and Sacramento.

 VIENNA, VA—Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group has named Kevin Payne as global soccer strategist. Formerly President and CEO of DC United and president and general manager of Toronto FC, Payne will leverage his soccer contacts, brokering opportunities for new Buffalo partnerships globally. He will also lead development of soccer-specific strategies for clients.