GCI Group has hired Atul Sharma as senior vice-president of public affairs in Toronto.
The hire—along with Line Maheux’s appointment to senior VP of public affairs in GCI’s Ottawa office this past summer—come as GCI grows its public affairs practice and aims to offer clients more holistic solutions.
“Traditionally, clients have been in particular verticals or practices within agencies, such as consumer, healthcare or technology,” said Marion MacKenzie, president of GCI Group. “But as business becomes more complex for them, you need to be able to provide them will more fulsome solutions… whether it’s media relations, social media, public affairs counseling, lobbying, events or public consultation work.”
Trained as an economist, Sharma has more than 20 years of experience in government relations, politics and business association work. He was most recently VP, public affairs and deputy group leader at Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
“He understands our business, he understands client service and can basically hit the ground running on day one,” said MacKenzie.
And, having spent more than 10 years working for the Ontario government, “he understands how government works and he understands the public policy environment.”
Prior to joining GCI, Maheux was director of government affairs at Bell Canada.