NEW YORK—Ken Rabin, head of international healthcare for Ruder Finn will direct global business from the firm’s London office on a year’s special assignment from the U.S. He will lead a European and global new business drive for the practice.

Hired by Ruder Finn in January 2001, Rabin has been executive vice president of healthcare, based in Washington, D.C., where he was instrumental in developing business with U.S. clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi-Synthelabo and Affymetrix.

Says Rabin, “Political and economic pressures on the U.S. healthcare sector generally, and the pharmaceutical industry in particular, have intensified already existing pressures on the European healthcare and pharmaceuticals companies to develop new and coordinated initiatives in public policy, advocacy development and consumer communications.

“My job here will be to help create unique European healthcare communications and public affairs solutions that draw on both my American experience and previous international work.”

As head of international healthcare, Rabin will team with Ruder Finn’s London managing director John Preston, a colleague of Rabin’s at Hill & Knowlton and later at InterScience. According to Preston, “Rabin brings a unique blend of healthcare marketing and public policy expertise, as well as an extensive academic background to our operations and a wealth of experience to share with the excellent team here in London.”

Rabin began his career in pharmaceutical public relations in 1980, as director of public affairs at Squibb, now Bristol-Myers Squibb. He moved to the agency side as head of the Hill & Knowlton New York healthcare practice in 1984, and in 1986 became national, and later worldwide, healthcare practice director based in H&K Washington.