WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2018 -- Spectrum Science Communications, a leading independent health and science marketing communications agency, today announced that Michelle Gross will be stepping into the role of President of the agency. Gross was formerly the Managing Director and head of the Biopharma practice.

"I'm excited to work with our team in this expanded role," said Gross. "Every day I'm energized by the amazing work we do for our clients, the passion that we bring to our work and the way our teams truly know their clients' business, inside and out. I couldn't imagine a better place to be growing, learning and contributing."

Gross has more than 20 years of healthcare communications experience, overseeing cross-franchise teams and conducting strategic communications programs on behalf of blockbuster brands. She has a broad range of experience across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, cardiovascular health, neuroscience, immunology and diabetes, with leading pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Pfizer, Novartis and Eli Lilly.

The agency also welcomed Jon Higgins, formerly of Ketchum, to the newly created role of Chief Engagement Officer. Higgins' 24-year career at Ketchum began in California and expanded to Europe, where he led the region for many years. As CEO International, Higgins established the Asia-Pacific region and headed the Latin America, Middle East and Africa region; most recently, he spearheaded global acquisitions.

"Across international borders or across the office, my love for the agency business has always been the kind of 'all-in' collaboration that inspires to lift everyone, especially the client," said Higgins. "That is the soul of Spectrum and why I have long-admired its leadership and values. It is immensely motivating to join such a high-performing independent business, where the future is ours to create."

In the past five years, Spectrum has expanded its traditional PR brand into a global powerhouse of integrated science and healthcare storytelling, with a projected growth of 40% in 2018 alone.

These announcements start the next phase in the firm's carefully planned vision, which has kept it ahead of emerging trends to meet the ever-evolving needs of clients. That vision includes a restructuring to enhance the existing practice area focus while building a framework around four key pillars: Strategy, Engagement, Innovation and Creative. With Gross assuming day to day management of the agency, Jonathan Wilson, CEO of Spectrum, will focus on the growth and development of the agency as a whole, alongside a newly created Strategy Council.

In addition to Gross and Higgins, the Council will include three key leaders in expanded roles: Scott Chesson as Chief Operating Officer, Robert Oquendo in the newly created role of Chief Innovation Officer and Michelle Strier in the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer. Tim Goddard will continue to manage the GLOBALHealthPR network.

"Our vision for Spectrum is to go beyond simply integrated teams to interwoven teams, so that our scientists, creatives, media specialists and client teams work in lockstep to deliver for our clients every day," said Wilson. "With an uncompromising focus on client service and a strategy rooted in innovation, we're delivering on our vision of the agency of the future."

This press release originally appeared on PR Newswire.