NEW YORK — BCW has elevated Northeast market leader Drew O’Brien to president of Direct Impact, the agency’s community-focused public affairs and advocacy firm.

O’Brien, who formally assumes the role Sept. 7, will be responsible for building DI’s offerings, growing its client base and overseeing talent management in partnership with COO Amy Cloessner.  He also will work with other BCW Group companies on developing offerings for clients that would benefit from grassroots-style campaigns.

O’Brien will retain his role as BCW’s Northeast market leader. He succeeds Michael Fleischer, who continues to serve as president of BCW’s Washington operation.

O’Brien joined BCW in 2017 from Weber Shandwick, where he was an executive VP in the agency’s corporate practice. He also has worked in the public sector, having spent more than a decade as a senior advisor to John Kerry during his tenures as secretary of state and US Senator.

“Drew is a great fit to lead DI thanks to his years providing complex strategic counsel to clients and his deep experience in high-impact, highly targeted precision communications throughout his years in national, state and local politics,” said Brooke Hovey, BCW’s global chief growth officer and North America president. “He is a proven leader in building strong teams that deliver powerful results, and I look forward to the impact he will make on this important line of business.”