WASHINGTON, DC—Rational 360, an independent communications and digital agency, has hired Peter Barden as partner. Barden will work with the Rational 360 leadership team to expand the firm’s presence in New York City and augment the firm’s offering in its corporate, brand, public affairs and crisis management practices.

Barden currently serves as a senior strategist and director of communications for the Online Lenders Alliance—a trade association representing companies offering short-term loans online—through his firm, Barden Communications. He will continue in that role in his new position at Rational 360.

Previously, Barden was a managing director in Mercury/Clark & Weinstock’s Washington, DC, public affairs practice, where he managed media relations, crisis communications and grassroots/grasstops advocacy for some of the firm’s top clients. Prior to Mercury, he was senior vice president of Public Governmental Affairs for the New York Power Authority.