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Crowell taps PhRMA exec for government affairs, public policy role

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A woman is seen in silhouette as she walks at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

A former official with the leading U.S. pharmaceutical trade association has joined Crowell & Moring and the law firm's policy and regulatory affiliate, the firm announced Thursday.

Kate Beale, who spent four years as associate vice president for international advocacy at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), has joined Crowell as a senior policy director in the firm's government affairs practice. Beale will also work as a director at Crowell & Moring International (CMI).

CMI's work spans three pillars - global health, global trade and investment and global digital issues - and it's rare to find a person such as Beale who has expertise in all three, said Robert Holleyman, the CEO and president of CMI.

"Kate came to us as an ideal addition to our firm," Holleyman said.

Prior to joining PhRMA in 2017, Beale held various roles in the Obama administration, including as deputy assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

One of her areas of focus at Crowell will be the issue of waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Beale acknowledged that CMI represents several clients who have opposed waiving those IP protections, something she called "a complex issue" that is at the center of "a very dynamic discussion."

Even though U.S. President Joe Biden threw his support behind waiving IP rights for COVID-19 vaccines last week, it could still take months for the World Trade Organization to successfully conclude those negotiations, trade experts told Reuters.

Beale said she'll also be working matters connected with the infrastructure bill, which is poised to shower the U.S. legal industry in dealmaking, litigation, and lobbying fees related to the historic spending surge.

In addition to her health policy experience, Beale also has "a great strategic mind" and strong relationships in both the Biden administration and on Capitol Hill, said Jim Flood, the chair of Crowell's government affairs group.

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