Philip Morris International Bolsters Washington, D.C., Presence with Key Staff Appointments
Philip Morris International’s (PMI) Washington, D.C., operations are being strengthened with two key personnel moves. J.B. Simko has been promoted to Vice President External Affairs and will relocate from New York to serve in his new role as head of the Washington, D.C., office. Aaron Sherinian, who has been serving in his role of Vice President Global Communications Transformation from Paris since he joined the company in September 2018, will relocate to work in the D.C. office as well.
“We are very pleased to have J.B. and Aaron representing PMI in Washington,” said Marc Firestone, President External Affairs and General Counsel. “They are both powerhouse team players, and we believe their presence in D.C.—where regulatory and policymakers meet—will send the positive message that we are working to make our vision of a smoke-free future a reality in the U.S. and abroad.”
Simko has been with PMI since 2001, and he will continue to work for Firestone and Livio Vanghetti, Vice President of Global Partnerships and Cooperation, on external affairs.
“We congratulate J.B. on his well-deserved promotion,” said Vanghetti. “This strategic strengthening of our Washington, D.C., office will serve as an advantage in building PMI’s capabilities for future-facing communications, constructive engagement with civil society and alliances for global social good.”
“This is a rewarding role, and I am very happy to be continuing in my expanded position as we ramp up our efforts to build a smoke-free future,” Simko added.
Sherinian will continue to work on transformation for the existing Global Communications team, led by Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President Global Communications, and on regulatory and scientific communications for Moira Gilchrist, Vice President of Scientific and Public Communications, who leads PMI’s FDA-related communications.
“In just a few months, Aaron has proved himself as integral to our Global Communications division, as we work to bring about one of the greatest corporate transformations in history, with historic potential to generate public health benefits for millions of adults who smoke around the world,” said Salzman. “This team is telling the story of PMI’s vision of a smoke-free future as part of genuine dialogues that exert intelligent influence.”
Said Sherinian: “This assignment is the professional challenge of a lifetime, and it’s one that I wholeheartedly embrace. Being in Washington, D.C., will be a real advantage in building PMI’s capabilities for future-facing communications, constructive engagement with civil society and alliances for global social good.”
Before being appointed to his current position, J.B. Simko was vice president and associate general counsel, litigation, managing litigation of company-wide significance on behalf of PMI entities globally. In this role, Simko also became deeply involved in developing regulatory strategies related to FDA authorization of new and modified risk tobacco products.
During the course of his career with PMI, Simko has provided legal support across many business functions, including Next Generation Products, Research & Development, Communications, Sales, Marketing and Motorsports, Brand Integrity, and Compliance.
He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School (JD, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif) and a graduate of the University of Iowa (BS, Psychology).
Before joining PMI, Aaron Sherinian served as global communications director for the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) from 2017 to 2018, responsible for coordination, messaging, media relations and digital communications for a worldwide network including over 80,000 employees and a mission to help improve quality of life for people around the world.
Sherinian served as chief communications and marketing officer for the United Nations Foundation through a period of intense global challenge and change. During his tenure at the foundation (2009-2017), the communications team won multiple awards, including being named “PR Team of the Year” by PR News. Sherinian was named by PRWeek as “Global Communicator of the Year” in 2015.
Earlier in his career, Sherinian was managing director of public affairs for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government development assistance agency administering $7 billion in poverty reduction grants in 40 partner countries, and served as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State.
He holds degrees from the Johns Hopkins University (School of Advanced International Studies) and Brigham Young University.
Philip Morris International: Building a Smoke-Free Future
Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the U.S. PMI is building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. PMI's smoke-free IQOS product portfolio includes heated tobacco and nicotine-containing vapor products. As of Dec. 31, 2018, PMI estimates that approximately 6.6 million adult smokers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to PMI’s heated tobacco product, which is currently available for sale in 44 markets in key cities or nationwide under the IQOS brand. For more information, see our PMI and PMIScience websites.
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