Chris Ortman, a former appointee of President Barack Obama who was a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, is joining the Motion Picture Association of America as vice president, corporate communications.
The MPAA, the lobbying arm of the U.S. movie and television industries, announced that Ortman was joining the organization on Thursday. He’ll replace Kate Bedingfield, who joined the Office of Vice President Joe Biden as communications director in August.
Ortman comes to the MPAA with more than 12 years of experience in politics, non-profits, government, and public policy, recently holding the role of Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs at CreativeFuture, where he led a communications program that helped expand the coalition to more than 450 companies and organizations in creative industries. He left CreativeFuture in August to run an independent consultancy specializing in strategic planning and communications.
In his stint with Homeland Security, he covered a portfolio that included cyber security, disaster response, chemical and nuclear security, and the department’s research and development efforts. He also held roles with the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Ortman is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a native of Omaha, Nebraska.
“With his strong understanding of the creative industries and deep background in public policy, Chris is well-positioned to be an effective advocate and spokesperson for the MPAA and our member companies,” said Laura Nichols, MPAA’s Executive Vice President for Global Communications. “I’m excited to welcome him back to Washington and to our team.”
Additionally, the MPAA announced that Sam Newton has been promoted to Deputy Director, Corporate Communications. In this new role, Newton will assist Ortman and play a key role in the association’s day-to-day media relations.
Nichols added, “Sam brings great energy and enthusiasm to his work and has become a critical member of our team. We look forward to what he will bring to his new role.”
Newton joined the MPAA in April of 2014 following internships with the Office of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, CLS Strategies, the MPAA, and the Global Intellectual Property Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and is from West Hartford, Connecticut.
The MPAA serves as the voice and advocate of the motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.