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Citizens Appoints Hecht Head of Corporate Affairs

October 05, 2022, 07:13 AM

Citizens Financial Group announced that Michelle Hecht has been named Head of Corporate Affairs. In this capacity she will oversee public affairs, corporate philanthropy, community engagement and volunteerism initiatives that support the company’s growth strategy. She succeeds Barbara Cottam, who is leaving Citizens to take on a new role at the U.S. Department of Commerce, in Washington DC. She will serve as a senior advisor for the external affairs strategy for the bureau administering the department’s Internet for All initiative.

“As we continue to grow and deepen in new and existing markets, a strong and well-aligned community engagement strategy is more critical than ever to our success,” said Beth Johnson, Chief Experience Officer and Head of ESG at Citizens. “With Michelle’s deep expertise in banking, strategy, communications, and marketing over more than 25 years in financial services, she is well positioned to further elevate this important function.”

Added Johnson: “I’d also like to thank Barbara for her leadership and the many contributions she has made to Citizens and Rhode Island over her 30-year career with the bank. She has made invaluable contributions positioning the bank as a socially responsible corporate citizen while serving as a pillar of the community in our headquarters state of Rhode Island.”

Michelle most recently served as the Head of Communications at Citizens. She is a member of Citizens’ Executive Leadership Group and of the Citizens Foundation and Citizens Charitable Giving Boards. A highly engaged member of the community, she has served on the board of the Greater Boston YMCA and has been actively involved in the Girl Scouts and in youth soccer. Keith Kelly will continue to serve as Citizens’ Rhode Island State President.

“Citizenship is at the heart of who we are, rooted in the belief that when people and communities reach their potential, we all thrive,” said Hecht. “I am honored and energized to lead Citizens’ efforts in helping the people and neighborhoods we serve flourish.”

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