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Desiree Peterkin Bell


Crisis Communication



Desire Peterkin Bell is an award-winning and nationally recognized public relations expert, brand builder, and strategist based just outside of New York. She possesses over twenty years of battle-tested, hands-on experience with some of the biggest names in politics, including former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and Mayor Cory Booker. After a rewarding career serving in various positions throughout government, Desiree founded DPBell & Associates, a full-service Public Affairs agency, in 2016.

After graduating as a National Urban Fellow with her Master’s in Public Administration, Desiree began her career in Indianapolis under former Mayor Bart Peterson. While there, she worked to address issues with community engagement, education, strategic governance, affordable housing, and economic development issues. Following the devastating effects of 9/11, Desiree Peterkin Bell moved her career to her hometown of New York City, accepting a position as the Supervising Legislative Representative for the Bloomberg Administration. 

There, she championed The New York City Smoke Free Air Act of 2002, Tort Reform, and the Film Tax Credit—three historic pieces of legislation—into public law. Desiree later became the Vice President of Government Affairs for New York City’s marketing development corporation, NYC Marketing. In this role, she worked to secure multi-million dollar sponsorships for the city with corporations like Universal Studios, General Motors, The Latin Grammys, and the Country Music Awards. 

In 2006, Desiree Peterkin Bell joined the Booker Administration in Newark, New Jersey, as the Director of Communication. As the youngest senior official appointed to the team, she would go on to build an award-winning twenty-first-century communications network that spanned platforms and is credited for the rise of Cory Booker’s powerful social media presence. Her work with the Administration went on to be recognized by the New Jersey League of Municipalities who named the city’s Office of Communications as the “Best City Office of Communications in New Jersey.”

Desiree’s work in public affairs has made her an expert in communications, public relations, brand building, and crisis management. DPBell & Associates success can be credited, in part, to her and her team’s ability to react calmly in moments of high unrest, and lead strategies that work. For example, Desiree led the production team and digital response during the public feud between Cory Booker and Conan O’Brien. Her management of the situation led to millions of impressions for the Mayor, Newark, and the positive influence his Administration had on the city. 

In a society where crises can erupt at any given moment, Desiree Peterkin Bell and her agency are equipped to respond. They recently worked with H Code, a LatinX digital brand, and the city of Los Angeles to create a multi-platform campaign with culturally-appropriate messaging to educate and encourage the Latinx population to receive COVID-19 testing. Women and minority-led, DPBell & Associates work with causes, movements and brands they believe in to effectuate positive change and growth in society, both nationally and internationally. 

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