Chris Ortman New MPAA Chief Spokesperson

The government and public policy expert becomes VP of corporate communications, succeeding Kate Bedingfield who left in August. The trade group also promoted Sam Newton to deputy director, corporate communications.

The Motion Picture Association of America on Thursday named Chris Ortman vice president, corporate communications, serving as the association’s chief spokesperson. The role was previously held by Kate Bedingfield, who joined the Office of Vice President Joe Biden as communications director in August.

Ortman comes to the MPAA with more than 12 years of experience in politics, nonprofits, government and public policy, most recently as VP of communications and corporate affairs at CreativeFuture, where he led a communications program that helped expand the coalition to more than 450 companies and organizations in creative industries. He left CreativeFuture in August to run an independent consultancy specializing in strategic planning and communications.

Previously, Ortman was a political appointee in the administration of President Barack Obama, serving as a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where he covered a portfolio that included cybersecurity, disaster response, chemical and nuclear security, and the Department’s research and development efforts. He also held roles with the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Ortman is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“With his strong understanding of the creative industries and deep background in public policy, Chris is well-positioned to be an effective advocate and spokesperson for the MPAA and our member companies,” said Laura Nichols, MPAA’s EVP for global communications.

Additionally, the MPAA announced that Sam Newton has been promoted to deputy director, corporate communications. In this new role, Newton will assist Ortman and play a key role in the association’s day-to-day media relations, among other communications priorities.


Newton joined the MPAA in April of 2014 following internships with the office of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, CLS Strategies, the MPAA, and the Global Intellectual Property Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.

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