Rob Kenny, who has been acting press secretary for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, is leaving to become a senior VP in the Washington office of Mercury, a public affairs/lobbying firm whose clients include the National Association of Broadcasters and AT&T.
According to Peter Barden, a managing director of Mercury's Washington office, Kenny will handle media relations and focus on healthcare and telecom, though not exclusively. Kenny worked with some of the Mercury execs, including Barden, when Kenny was director of public affairs for the New York State Health Department in the 1990's and early 2000's.Mercury is also in New York, Sacramento, Tampa and elsewhere.
Kenny will join the company in early May, according to Barden, who said he was tried to woo him to the private sector on a couple of different occasions. Kenny declined comment on the move. "Rob will be working with us on media relations projects for some of our largest clients," which include the healthcare industry, defense, and tech as well as telecom and broadcasting.
He has been acting press secretary for FCC Chairman Juilus Genachowski since Jan. 11, following the departure of Press Secretary Jen Howard in December (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/461640-Jen_Howard_Exiting_FCC.php) for a senior communications post at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Kenny has been on loan to the chairman from the Homeland Security and Public Safety Bureau, where he has been director of media relations. That was a permanent job. He was also acting press secretary under FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. In fact he has been in public service for 22 years, with this his first foray into the private sector.