NEW YORK — The longtime head of Ketchum’s research arm, David Rockland, plans to retire on August 1 as EVP Mary Elizabeth Germaine steps in to lead Ketchum Global Research & Analytics (KGRA).

Germaine will report to Ketchum’s chairman and CEO Rob Flaherty, just as Rockland has done as CEO of KGRA. Rockland ran the practice for 17 years and will continue to provide client counsel, thought leadership and business development support as a senior consultant and as chairman after steps down.

Meanwhile, Germaine has been with the Omnicom firm since 2001. When she joined, she worked with Rockland to grow the research and analytics team that now has more than 400 clients across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Germain will retain the EVP title in her new role.

“David and Mary Elizabeth have spent the last 16 years working together to grow KGRA into the highly respected and valued specialty group it is today,” said Flaherty. “As David moves to the next phase of his career, we’re fortunate to have the talent Mary Elizabeth brings.”

During his 17 years at Ketchum, Rockland also managed Ketchum Interactive (now Ketchum Digital) as well as Ketchum Change (now Daggerwing Group). He was also involved in the creation of  the Barcelona Principles, which established guidelines of PR measurement.

This year, KGRA won the  Holmes Report’s 2017 Diamond SABRE Award for Measurement and Evaluation with Cleveland Clinic.