Continued expansion at MEPRA’s Middle East PR Agency of the Year
Abu Dhabi, 24th July 2012 – Edelman, the world`s largest public relations firm, today announced the appointment of two new senior hires to the firm’s Middle East and Africa operations.
Simon Buerk, currently head of communications at global commodities giant Glencore and formerly head of communications at Shell in Qatar, will be taking up a new post leading the firm’s regional expansion, deepening its energy and natural resources, financial and corporate offerings.
Omar Qirem, former Chief Press Officer for UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, will focus on expanding Edelman’s Middle East public sector and crisis communications offering.
Buerk and Qirem will report to Iain Twine, General Manager, Edelman Middle East and Africa. They join a team of 52 colleagues in the Middle East.
Buerk and Qirem’s diverse experience with companies and governments around the world will help Edelman achieve its objective of becoming the leading PR agency in the Middle East and Africa.
Edelman has two wholly owned offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with a network of affiliates across the Middle East and Africa. Existing client work for blue chip firms and locally grown companies continually covers the region.
“Both Simon and Omar are experienced operators. We have gone from two people to 52 people in four very short years,” said Twine. “We are delighted that they have both agreed to join our team. Our clients are increasingly asking us to work regionally and these appointments reflect this.”
Buerk led communications at Swiss-based Glencore as the company successfully completed one of the largest global Initial Public Offerings of recent times. Buerk previously worked for Shell for a decade, with roles in London, Dubai and Doha. He was responsible for communications in Qatar when Shell was building in the Gulf country the largest project in the company’s history. Buerk has worked on African operations at both Shell and Glencore and spent part of his childhood on the continent.
Qirem lead the communications for the British government’s ambitious health reform programme, in addition was involved in some of the biggest communications issues in the UK over the past twelve years, including the government’s response to the collapse of car-maker MG Rover and the eurozone financial crisis.
“Edelman is the global thought leader in communications and is changing the agency landscape in the Middle East and Africa,” said Buuerk. “I am excited to be joining a fast-growing team that is bringing this new perspective to existing and future clients in this important region.”
Omar Qirem said: “Edelman is undoubtedly one of the best in the industry for devising creative communication strategies that genuinely transform businesses. I’m delighted to be joining the firm in this senior role.”