NEW YORK — Nielsen Holdings on Monday named Karen Kornbluh its EVP external affairs, effective immediately. Reporting to incoming CEO Mitch Barns — who succeeds CEO David Calhoun on Jan. 1 — Kornbluh will lead Nielsen’s global work in a number of key areas, including: government and public affairs and services; privacy strategy; corporate social responsibility; and multicultural market development. She will be based in Washington but will split her time in New York.
“[Karen's] unique experience spanning government and international policy, and her insight into our Watch and Buy segments and data privacy will be invaluable to our work of providing our clients with the most comprehensive understanding of consumers," Barns said.
Kornbluh is assuming a number of the duties of outgoing vice chair Susan Whiting, who is retiring at the end of 2013 after a more than three-decade career with Nielsen. “Karen’s remarkable experience at the highest levels of government, with an emphasis on economic conditions around the globe, will lend an important perspective to the company,” Whiting said.
Kornbluh was the U.S. ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development from 2009-2012. During her time at the OECD, she worked with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to develop the first global Internet Policymaking Principles and launched both the Gender Initiative and the Middle East-North Africa Women's Business Forum. Previously, Kornbluh was policy director in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama. In the Clinton Administration, Kornbluh was deputy chief of staff at the Treasury Department and director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission.
Earlier, Kornbluh was a management consultant at Telesis and an economic forecaster at Townsend-Greenspan & Company. She founded the New America Foundation's Work and Family Program and is a senior fellow for Digital Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Kornbluh has published articles on economic policy in outlets that include the Atlantic, the New York Times and the Washington Post. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.