WASHINGTON – The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) today announced key changes to its communications team, led by Executive Vice President for Global Communications Laura Nichols. Kate Bedingfield has been elevated to Vice President, Corporate Communications and will report to Nichols. In her new capacity, Bedingfield will serve as the association’s chief spokesperson and continue to be a critical player in developing and implementing communications strategy behind all of the MPAA’s policy priorities. Howard Gantman will assume a new role as Vice President, Global Strategic Communications. In this role, Gantman will focus on global message coordination and communication strategies for international initiatives, litigation, research and internal communications for the MPAA. He will also work with key stakeholders, entertainment industry alliances and other third parties on strategic communications priorities. Additionally, TJ Ducklo has been promoted to Deputy Director, Corporate Communications and will report to Bedingfield. In this newly created position, Ducklo will play a key role in advancing the association’s communications initiatives and assist Bedingfield with her responsibilities.

Prior to joining the MPAA in November of 2011, Bedingfield held several positions in the Obama White House, including White House Associate Communications Director and White House Deputy Director, and then Acting Director of Media Affairs. Before she worked on Pennsylvania Avenue, Bedingfield was Communications Director for the Jeanne Shaheen for Senate campaign and New Hampshire communications director for the John Edwards for President campaign. She graduated in 2004 from University of Virginia with a Bachelors of Arts in History.

Ducklo joined the MPAA in September of 2011 after working as a communications assistant at Bracewell & Guiliani’s Policy Resolution Group. Ducklo has also completed internships with The Office of Mary Matalin, The Fritts Group, The Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and Senator Lamar Alexander’s Office (R-TN). He graduated in 2011 from George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs with a degree in Political Communications.

Before joining the MPAA, Gantman served as Staff Director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. where he was responsible for overseeing President Obama’s swearing in ceremony. He was also Staff Director of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and was Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Communications Director for nine years. He previously worked for two Los Angeles City Council members and was a Los Angeles-based reporter.