NEW YORK, NY, April 25, 2023 — The Ad Council, America’s leader in using the power of communications to drive social impact at scale, announced today that DJ Perera has joined the organization as Chief Media Officer. She succeeds Kathy Kayse, who will be retiring on May 12 after leading the Media team for 5 years. Prior to joining the Ad Council, Perera led Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. Media Center of Excellence, managing all aspects of direct-to-consumer and health care professionals paid media for the company’s brands.
In her new role, Perera will oversee the Ad Council’s Media team and the department’s four Centers of Excellence: Digital Products, Digital Media and Operations, Media Strategy and Engagement and Emerging Media, Technology and Innovation. Perera will continue to evolve the Ad Council’s media model and develop strategic partnerships across the media ecosystem, strategically using both pro bono and paid media elements to enhance the organization’s impact on social issues. This will include identifying engagement strategies in website development, leading the exploration of trends in consumer engagement and driving innovation in emerging media and technology.
“I am thrilled to welcome DJ to the team. She is an accomplished media executive and an empathetic and passionate marketer,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “DJ is well-respected across the marketing and media industries for her in-depth knowledge, collaborative nature, and the innovation she has brought to brands across many sectors. Her leadership will have a meaningful impact on addressing mental health, gun violence and racial justice, along with many other critical social issues facing our country.”
Perera is a digital native who started her career in the late 1990s during the dot-com boom, leading digital initiatives at iXL, Proxicom and Qwest Communications. She then worked at a marketing agency for 10 years where she built and led its digital practice. Perera has also served as head of U.S. Integrated Media at Beiersdorf where she led the restructure of this group into a Center of Excellence.
“It is not often that you have the opportunity to step into a role that so closely brings together your craft with your purpose. This opportunity to serve as the Chief Media Officer at the Ad Council is exactly that for me,” said Perera. “I’m grateful for the chance to make a lasting impact and to continue the incredible work of Kathy Kayse and her team.”
Perera is active on many industry committees and boards, most recently being appointed as Chairperson of the Association of National Advertisers’ Media Committee.
Born in Sri Lanka, she moved to Trinidad as a small child and later settled in New York City where she attended Stuyvesant High School and New York University.
The Ad Council
The Ad Council convenes creative storytellers to educate, unite and uplift audiences by opening hearts, inspiring action and accelerating change around the most pressing issues in America. Since the non-profit’s founding, the organization and its partners in advertising, media, marketing and tech have been behind some of the country’s most iconic and impactful campaigns – Smokey Bear, A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Love Has No Labels, Tear the Paper Ceiling and many more. With a current focus on mental health, racial justice, gun violence and other critical issues, the Ad Council’s national campaigns encompass advertising and media content, ground game and community efforts, trusted messenger and influencer engagement, among other innovative strategies to move the needle on the most important issues of the day.