NEW YORK – Hill+Knowlton has hired David Bowen to lead the firm’s global healthcare practice, effective July 1.

Bowen is best known for his work as staff director of the Senate committee on health, playing a major role in drafting and pushing forward Obama’s health-reform legislation through the Senate in 2009.

He is filling a role that has been vacant since Daniel McIntyre left the firm in 2011 for an in-house post at Biogen Idec. Since then, the agency's healthcare leadership has been regional. 

The firm is bringing Bowen on to be strategic advisor as the sector sees an uptick in global demand for medical services, increased costs and regulations, coupled with shaky public trust, according to global chairman and CEO Jack Martin. Bowen will report into the agency’s vice chair and global head of practices, Vivian Lines.   

Health care is the firm’s second-largest global sector practice. The appointment comes following a flurry of new leadership announcements, including naming Andy Weitz as US CEO, as well adding global leadership to other practice areas.

Bowen, who has a doctorate in neurobiology, has also worked as  deputy director of global health policy and advocacy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Most recently, from November 2011 to February 2013, he was CEO of Malaria No More, a global nonprofit dedicated to ending deaths from malaria through communication, programs and advocacy.