PITTSBURGH—Education Management Corporation, one the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, has appointed Joan Walker as executive vice president, corporate communications, reporting directly to Edward West, president and chief executive officer.

Walker most recently served as executive vice president, corporate relations at Allstate, where she served as a member of the company's senior leadership team, developing strategy and directing the operations of the company's largest line of business. She announced her retirement from Allstate in January.

She previously served in similar senior marketing and communications roles at Qwest Communications, Monsanto, Pharmacia, and Ameritech.

Earlier in her career, she founded a full service marketing and strategic communications company which was acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi, where she then served as executive vice president, and was a partner at Bozell Sawyer Miller Group.