Edelman welcomes senior sustainability expert Eleanor O’Keeffe

Edelman, the global communications firm, has hired a new senior director of corporate sustainability for its EMEA operations, further increasing the integration of environmental, social, and governance expertise into the agency’s corporate sustainability offering.

Based in Abu Dhabi, Eleanor O’Keeffe joins Edelman from her role at the COP26 Unit in the cabinet office of the UK Government, where she was a senior member of the COP26 communications team. In her past role, she helped develop the communications strategy for the international climate change conference and was the principal lead for communications around the public-facing Green Zone programme of events.

Eleanor O’Keeffe, senior director, corporate sustainability, EMEA, said: “Sustainability has entered the mainstream, and businesses are now beginning an exciting, though challenging, process of environmental, social, and governance transformation. The EMEA region is particularly well placed to lead this conversation due to its passion for innovation and an abundance of well-informed groups eagerly calling for meaningful change. As the Middle East region plays host to sustainability’s key global summits COP27 and COP28, there has never been a better time for businesses of all kinds in the region to bring this element of their corporate communications to the fore.”

Omar Qirem, CEO, Edelman Middle East, said: “As I meet with corporate leaders from across the region, one commonality is consistent in our discussions – the need to accelerate sustainability and ESG-focused communication strategies. The world is moving at an accelerated pace, and demands are changing quicker than companies can react. By hiring Eleanor O’Keeffe, Edelman is vastly upgrading its capabilities in the region to provide expert counsel on the sustainability issues that are now of critical importance to stakeholders and consumers alike. As a result, we look forward to driving positive change for our clients while also supporting the broader ambitions of the UN sustainable development Goals for present and future generations.”

O’Keeffe holds a PhD in history from the University of Cambridge and was a research fellow in the strategy department of INSEAD.

Edelman Middle East has made many significant hires over the past 12 months, bringing on board Mazar Masud to head its regional HQ in Abu Dhabi, Kenana Dahlan as head of Saudi Arabia, and Simon Hailes as head of financial communications. Edelman currently operates three wholly-owned offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Riyadh, and has a network of affiliates across the region.