Desiree Peterkin Bell is a multi-faceted political and communication strategist that world leaders, visionaries, and change agents turn to when they desire to not only build a rock-solid brand, but an enduring legacy with global impact. As President and CEO of the public affairs firm, DPBell & Associates, she serves her clients by leveraging her hard-won expertise in problem solving, crisis communications, strategic counsel, and brand development.
Desiree’s impressive career is one that is defined as being driven by ‘Purpose, Not Position’. From an early age, she was raised to be a self-reliant and critical thinker that always persists through adversity. These skills, along with a potent mix of diligence and discretion, would become the reason why she has served as a trusted advisor to a dynamic group of American cities and leaders for over 20 years.
As the Director of Communications and Strategy for the City of Philadelphia and former Mayor Michael Nutter, Director of Communications for Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker, and VP of Government Affairs for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, Desiree’s track record for producing results is undeniable. In these roles, she led initiatives and campaigns that elevated the profiles, awareness, and digital presence of each locale and its respective leader.
In 2012, Desiree served as Senior Adviser of Communications for Obama for America - Pennsylvania, overseeing a comprehensive communication strategy that positively impacted the reelection campaign efforts in the battleground state of PA. Additionally, she served as the lead in drafting and negotiating the successful bid for Philadelphia to host the Democratic National Convention that took place in July 2016. During the Convention, Desiree served as a Senior Adviser to the CEO of the DNCC and her team.
Desiree recognizes her success as the result of drinking from wells she did not dig. To honor those who have pioneered paths before her, she endeavors to dig wells for those that are to come behind her, through mentorship of young women of color. She regularly gives talks to audiences across the country on her life’s theme of ‘Purpose, Not Position’, and lectures in Urban Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. Described by those who know her best as passionate, ambitious, and fearless, Desiree is also a loving wife and mom. Keep an eye out for Desiree’s upcoming book collaboration, Women Who Inspire available nation-wide on Amazon.September 26th of this year.
Desiree lives on the East Coast with her husband Brian and gymnast daughter, Kaelyn.
- 2017 World Summit of Innovation Fellow; Commissioner, Governor Wolf’s African American Advisory Board; Member of the Union League of Philadelphia; National Press Club Member; PR Week’s Best and Brightest in Public Relations “40 under 40”; Philadelphia Tribune’s Most Influential List; Recognized as a “Woman of Power” by the National Coalition of 100 Black; Women of Pennsylvania, Inc. Shorty Award Winner; Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration – Pi Alpha Alpha Member; Five-Time NCAA All-American in Track and Field