WPP’s Government and Public Sector Practice has appointed Michael Harris as Executive Director, Australia and New Zealand. Mr Harris will be based in Sydney and replaces Kathryn Cooper who has returned to the US.
WPP’s Australia and New Zealand Government and Public Sector Practice was first launched in 2015 and has continued to build on WPP agencies’ long track record of outstanding work for public sector clients at Federal, State and Local levels in areas as diverse as health, destination marketing, recruitment, democratic participation and public safety. Across the globe, WPP’s Government and Public Sector Practice partners with more than 70 governments on the policy challenges where communications have the biggest impact.
Michelle Harrison, Global CEO of WPP Government & Public Sector Practice said, “Australia and New Zealand are among world leaders in government communications. I am delighted that the Hub will continue to share best practice and innovation between ANZ and our clients in the rest of the world. Our Hubs bring together our local expertise with our understanding of public engagement, behaviour change programmes, and digital transformation for our government clients.”
In his role as Executive Director for Australia and New Zealand, Mr Harris will continue to draw on WPP specialist agencies to build bespoke, horizontal teams for Federal, State and Local governments.
He said, “I have been part of WPP for many years and always admired the work of the Government Practice. Our agencies have proven track record of partnering with Government to effectively create behavior change campaigns right across the region. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of working closely with governments in both Australia and New Zealand to help deliver great access to best practice case studies and thought leadership from around the world, as well as a broader platform for sharing learnings from our region”.
Most recently Client Lead at Wavemaker, Harris brings more than 30 years’ advertising experience gained across both media and creative. He has extensive government experience and in 2012, was appointed by the Minister of Health to the Queensland Government Health Reform Strategic Advisory Committee overseeing the largest reforms to the health system in the State.
His appointment comes after the launch of a new hub in Canada led by Mark Pender, totalling the number of WPP Government & Public Sector Practice global hubs to seven (Australia and New Zealand, EU, Canada, US, UK and Singapore).
Since launching in 2012, The Government & Public Sector Practice has established WPP Executive Education programmes in Government Communications, Public Policy and Behaviour Change at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. And this year, the Practice will publish the second edition of The Leaders’ Report alongside the launch of its new hub in Canada. It is the only global report into the state of citizen engagement, and identifies key challenges facing governments’ efforts to better connect with citizens in an age of technological and political disruption.