Nutter aide leaves to work for Obama campaign

Desiree Peterkin-Bell will be the Obama campaign's senior adviser for communicationsin Pennsylvania.
Desiree Peterkin-Bell will be the Obama campaign's senior adviser for communicationsin Pennsylvania.
Posted: July 01, 2012

One of Mayor Nutter's top aides, Desiree Peterkin-Bell, is leaving City Hall after less than two years to help President Obama's reelection effort in Pennsylvania.

Peterkin-Bell, 34, joined Nutter in September 2010 and kept a low public profile, despite a $142,500 salary and a major title - director of communications and strategic partnerships.

She has widely been viewed as part of Nutter's effort to build a national reputation for himself - reflected in the mayor's recent election as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, frequent pronouncements on national issues, and big-time media appearances.

Asked Friday to describe some of her accomplishments, Peterkin-Bell mentioned an HBO documentary, Weight of a Nation, that featured the city's antiobesity efforts and the city's increased use of social media to communicate with the public. That proved important, she said, when the administration was negotiating last fall with the Occupy Philadelphia movement.

Peterkin-Bell had worked for other mayors who achieved some degree of national acclaim - Newark's Cory A. Booker and New York City's Michael Bloomberg.

Inside City Hall, Peterkin-Bell was less visible than Nutter's press secretary, Mark McDonald, a former Philadelphia Daily News reporter who remains the mayor's day-to-day spokesman, at $120,000 a year, dealing with city issues including budgets, crime, and taxes.

Peterkin-Bell's new role with the Obama campaign, to begin next week, is senior adviser for communications in Pennsylvania."

"Desiree is a trusted adviser, dedicated public servant and good colleague who has worked tirelessly to communicate with Philadelphians and the nation about the important work being accomplished in our city each and every day," Nutter said in a release. "She will be greatly missed by our administration."


Contact Bob Warner at 215-854-5885 or warnerb@phillynews.com.

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