NEW YORK — Kelli Parsons has been named the next global CEO of Hill & Knowlton, which will operate as its own brand after merging with BCW to form a new entity, Burson, July 1.

Parsons, who currently serves as H&K’s global chair of corporate affairs and advisory, will succeed AnnaMaria DeSalva, who has led Hill & Knowlton as global chairman and CEO since June 2019 and will become global chairman of Burson when the merger is finalized.

H&K credits Parsons with playing a key role in growing the firm’s global advisory business since she joined the firm for a second time in 2020 after spending 12 years in-house.

Before her return to H&K, Parsons served as United Technologies chief communications officer, as which she led global comms, marketing and social impact for the aerospace and defense conglomerate. Previously, Parsons was New York Life’s chief communications & marketing officer and Fannie Mae’s CCO before that.

During her first tenure with H&K, which spanned from 1998 to 2008, Parsons led H&K’s New York and Washington markets, its corporate and technology practices, and largest global client relationship.

She currently serves as chair of Page (formerly the Page Society).

“Hill & Knowlton has played a seminal role in our industry since its inception, and our team has pursued a period of rigorous development over the last several years,” said DeSalva.

"We are thrilled that H&K will continue to grow its central role in strategic communication as part of Burson, and that Kelli Parsons will lead the firm going forward. Kelli is a highly trusted and admired leader in our field. She has been a guiding force on our leadership team since rejoining H&K in 2020. Following her years in major client leadership roles and two substantial tours of duty as a senior leader at Hill & Knowlton, as CEO Kelli will bring deep knowledge of our industry, our people and clients, and vision for the opportunities ahead. I am proud to advance this leadership transition, and I look forward to continuing to work with Kelli and to supporting Hill & Knowlton’s future success in my new role," she said.

BCW global CEO Corey duBrowa, who will become Burson’s global CEO, said: “Hill & Knowlton brings exceptionally complementary expertise and brand equity to the flagship Burson and will serve as a powerful offering alongside Axicom, Buchanan Communications and GCI Health in our group of brands, which together offer clients world-class expertise across every global industry and sector.

"H&K’s expert strategic counsel and focus on the business impact of reputation creates significant value for clients, and I look forward to its continued success under Kelli’s leadership,” he said.