An item in yesterday's Special Interests column incorrectly reported that Marcia Silverman of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide would be based in New York. She remains based in the District. (Published 12/03/1999)

William D. Novelli is leaving the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for AARP, the preeminent group representing the interests of people age 50 and older.

President of the campaign since its beginnings in 1995, Novelli was recruited by AARP to direct its legislative and public policy, communications, international activities and other efforts. He will be an associate executive director reporting to executive director Horace B. Deets.

At AARP, with its 30 million-plus members, Novelli will be in the forefront of major legislative fights over Social Security, health care and other issues. AARP, once known as the American Association of Retired Persons, was ranked the most powerful of the Washington power broker lobbies in a recent survey by Fortune magazine--for the third year in a row.

"I'm sort of ready for a new adventure. It's kind of renewing to do that," said Novelli, 58, and a member of AARP, he says, since turning 50.

"Older people are playing a bigger and bigger role in public life. . . . I see AARP being a huge force for social change," he said.

Novelli, who'll move over to AARP Jan. 3, founded Porter/Novelli, one of the largest public relations agencies in the country. He retired from the company in 1990 to pursue a career in public service. He was executive vice president of CARE, the world's largest private relief and development organization.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is no slouch at advocacy--it is the nation's most prominent anti-tobacco organization.

Matthew L. Myers, the campaign's executive vice president and general counsel, will step up into the presidency. He previously was a partner in the law firm of Asbill, Junkin & Myers, where he represented the Coalition on Smoking OR Health, made up of the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association.

Myers said there will be a "seamless transition" and that he and Novelli have been "partners from the beginning."

"AARP's gain will be our loss. But the campaign is well-established," Myers said.

On the Defense Front

Now a part of the Shandwick International public relations empire (itself a subsidiary of the Interpublic Group), Cassidy & Associates is beefing up its lobbying and government relations practice for defense contractors.

The company has formed Cassidy Defense, a practice that brings together defense specialists from throughout the various Cassidy and Shandwick companies. And Cassidy has signed on recently retired Marine Brig. Gen. Terry L. Paul as senior vice president to head Cassidy Defense.

The world of lobbying and government relations is not unknown to Paul. He was the Marine Corps liaison officer in the Senate from 1988 to 1998, when he was promoted to director of legislative affairs for the Corps. He served three tours in the Western Pacific and was co-founder of the Marine Infantry Officer School.

Another big name snagged for Cassidy Defense is retired Rear Adm. Denny Vaughan, who's come on board as senior counselor. He has served as program executive officer for the Navy's mine warfare and was chief of the Naval Reserve in 1996-98.

The Cassidy Defense team also includes Bob Gillcash of Powell Tate (Cassidy's PR shop), former defense policy adviser to Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.); Lawrence C. Grossman of Cassidy & Associates, former staffer of the House Armed Services Committee; Bill Hart of Shandwick Public Affairs, former deputy assistant defense secretary for public affairs; Richard Pollock of Shandwick, a former Washington producer for ABC's "Good Morning America"; Barry Rhoads of Boland & Madigan (a Cassidy lobbying unit), former deputy general counsel of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission; and Vincent M. Versage, of Cassidy, former legislative staffer for then-Rep. Timothy E. Wirth (D-Colo.).

"The newly organized Cassidy Defense will allow our clients to draw from a tremendous amount of military expertise," James P. Fabiani, chief executive of Cassidy & Associates, said in a statement.

Cassidy clients have included the Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp., and Shandwick has represented Northrop-Grumman, said Tom McMahon, vice president of Powell Tate, which is becoming part of Shandwick Public Affairs.

More Moves

Edward Cooper has joined Buckley/Kaldenbach Inc., the Arlington-based media relations and public affairs firm, as executive vice president, jumping from the Hawthorn Group. While at Hawthorn, Cooper directed the grass-roots advocacy efforts of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative and the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association on copyright royalties and access to programming.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has named Marcia Silverman, who has headed its largest office in the District, as its first "president of the Americas," based in New York. Managing director Steve Dahllof takes charge of the D.C. office.

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