NFL hires Katie Hill, former Barack Obama communications director, as senior V.P. of communications

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The NFL has hired another former political operative to help shape, preserve, and promote the league’s image.

Katie Hill, who served as Barack Obama’s Communications Director in the four years since his presidency ended, became the NFL’s senior V.P. of communications on May 3.

“As Senior Vice President, Hill will be responsible for leading the NFL’s day-to-day communications operation, aligning the League’s communications strategy with its priorities,” the NFL’s press release regarding Hill’s arrival announces. “She will work closely with the leadership team across departments to ensure consistency of messaging and strategy, and to elevate success stories. In addition, she will lead efforts in identifying reputational issues for the League and across the 32 clubs and developing strategies to mitigate their impact.”

The term “reputational issues” is fancy talk for “fixer,” basically. She’ll be tasked with solving problems that already exist and, ideally, keeping potential problems from blossoming. With legalized gambling spreading, one major source of reputational issue could flow from actual or perceived issues involving the integrity of the game, as it relates to the intersection of players, coaches, and officials and gambling interests.

Hill will report to Jeff Miller, Executive Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Policy.

Former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart previously led the league’s P.R. efforts. After his departure and then the tenure of Jocelyn Moore, Miller assumed responsibility for the department. While Miller will still ultimately lead the office, Hill will have a key day-to-day role.