Omnicom Group Names Karen van Bergen Dean of Omnicom University

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) Chairman and CEO John Wren today announced the appointment of Karen van Bergen as Dean of Omnicom University. Van Bergen previously served as CEO of Omnicom Public Relations Group (OPRG). John Doolittle, President of The DAS Group of Companies, will assume van Bergen’s responsibilities at OPRG as CEO while an external search is conducted to find a permanent successor.

Established in 1995, Omnicom University (OU) is the holding company’s long-standing management development program with more than 5,000 global alumni. Considered one of the pre-eminent professional development programs within the industry, the program is formatted based on the HBS case study method and is led by some of the most renowned professors from Harvard Business School, IESE Business School in Spain, and CEIBS, China Europe International Business School. By assuming this role, van Bergen will serve as the third Dean in the program’s history, following Janet Riccio and founder Tom Watson. 

“Developing current and future leaders is critical to our mission of solving our clients’ most pressing business challenges through innovation and creativity,” said Karen van Bergen. “I am deeply honored to continue the work of my dear friend Janet Riccio and to lead a program as well-established as Omnicom University.” 

Van Bergen joined Omnicom in 2007, holding leadership roles at FleishmanHillard and Porter Novelli. In 2016, she was named the CEO of Omnicom Public Relations Group, focusing on strategic growth areas including talent, innovation and cross-agency collaboration. 

“A key quality which has always distinguished Karen as a leader is her passion for attracting, retaining and developing the best talent in our business,” says John Wren, Chairman and CEO of Omnicom Group. “Her shared commitment to learning and development is what made her a natural choice for this role, and we look forward to watching this prestigious program flourish under her leadership.”                       

In addition to serving as Dean of OU, van Bergen will take on the responsibility of leading Omnicom’s Common Ground initiative, which supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. With a specific focus on SDG#4 Education, she will run the company’s existing partnerships with Girl Effect and Theirworld. 

About Omnicom Group Inc. 
Omnicom Group ( is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. 

SOURCE Omnicom Group

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