NEW YORK, May 1, 2018 - Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), a top-three, full-service, global communications agency, today announced Aranthan “AJ” Jones II has joined as U.S. Corporate and Financial Practice Leader, responsible for growing the practice across the U.S. He will divide his time between Washington, D.C. and New York and become a member of BCW’s U.S. Leadership team.
“AJ is an exceptionally talented and experienced communications executive with a proven history in growing business through strategic, creative and integrated approaches across corporate, financial, healthcare, entertainment and technology businesses as well as the philanthropic and non-governmental sectors,” said Chris Foster, BCW’s President, North America, to whom Jones will report. “AJ is the perfect choice to strengthen our U.S. Corporate and Financial Practice and guide existing and new clients in solving their complex communications challenges.”
Before joining BCW, AJ served in three roles at the WK Kellogg Foundation, as Senior Policy Advisor, Chief Policy and Communications Officer and Chief of Staff. In those roles he led the organization’s internal and external communications, thought leadership, executive positioning, investment launches, public-private partnerships and public policy initiatives. He reported to the President and CEO and served as a key spokesperson on behalf of the organization’s domestic and international investments.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jones was the Head of Worldwide Government Affairs for Gilead Sciences. While there, he led a global team to develop, advance and engage public policy and regulatory systems to expand access and accelerate pharmaceutical innovation. He was also responsible for aligning strategic communications and social impact engagements for corporate, governmental and nongovernmental audiences.
Earlier in his career, Jones served as Health Practice Chair, Financial Services Practice Leader and later Principal at The Podesta Group, representing Fortune 500 clients including Amgen, Business Roundtable, Canadian Pension and Investment Board, Credit Suisse, Covidien(Medtronic), EMD Serono, General Dynamics, General Motors, Gilead Sciences, Google, Lockheed Martin, NBCUniversal, Nestlé, Novartis, Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board, Oracle, Quest Diagnostics and Zurich Financial Services, among others in their B2C, B2G and B2B initiatives.
Before joining the private sector, Jones was the policy director for the U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip office. He was one of four policy directors, the first African-American to hold this position and the highest-ranking African-American healthcare adviser. During his congressional tenure, Jones was directly responsible for crafting more than 214 pieces of legislation, 142 of which became law.
Jones also offers broad financial expertise. His deep knowledge of capital markets, municipal bond markets, derivatives, pensions and debt-securitization led to his appointment as one of the lead policy negotiators and external communicators for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) which created the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
“To be successful in our hyper-connected world, companies must have an integrated approach to strategic communications and the ability to adapt quickly in an unpredictable economic and political landscape,” said Jones. “I looked forward to working with BCW’s dynamic team of thought leaders to create and deploy product offerings that will help our clients seize opportunities, ensure message alignment across networks and advance their business and social impact objectives.”
Jones has worked internationally in France, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK. He has traveled extensively in more than 50 countries on behalf of corporate interests to develop collaborations with industry and association partners, media influencers and government leaders. He can speak Yoruba (a prominent Nigerian language) and is learning conversational Hebrew.