NJI, a global creative agency that specializes in design that influences public policy audiences, announces the promotion of Lara Kline to company President. She succeeds Josh Shultz, agency co-founder, who will assume the role of co-CEO alongside Nathan Imperiale, his fellow founder. Since 2019, Lara has served as the agency’s first Chief Strategy Officer and led NJI’s expansion to London and Singapore. In her new role, she will oversee the agency’s client portfolio and creative service offerings and guide the company’s growth as the preeminent creative firm for top talent seeking to flourish in their careers and organizations seeking to shape public policy.
“Lara is an exceptional leader whose passion and purpose drive NJI to consistently challenge the status quo. She has made a tremendous impact on NJI’s culture, client growth, and global expansion during her time at NJI to date. I have no doubt that she will accelerate that momentum in her new capacity as President,” said Imperiale, co-founder and CEO.
A marketing and communications veteran, Lara has spent over 20 years leading visual, data-driven campaigns on behalf of clients across diverse sectors in the Washington, D.C., region and beyond. Before joining NJI, she founded Little Tomato Marketing, where she provided strategic counsel to organizations ranging from The Kennedy Center to the Motion Picture Association. She also served as the first Vice President for Marketing and Communications for the White House Historical Association, where she led a wide range of initiatives to support the public’s understanding and appreciation of the White House.
Lara’s passion for the intersection of art and business has driven much of her career, including serving as the Assistant Dean for Marketing and Strategy at the Kogod School of Business at American University; leading The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art marketing and communications team during the award-winning Steven Holl Bloch Building expansion; and as Director of Marketing and Communications for The Corcoran Gallery of Art. She cut her teeth in the world of public relations for FleishmanHillard.
“Lara is a leader with an acute understanding of our clients’ rapidly evolving needs and a track record of using creativity to drive growth and impact,” said co-founder Josh Shultz. “I look forward to working with Lara as we continue to shape public policy outcomes for our clients.”
As a female leader and communications professional, Lara brings a unique point of view to NJI and will guide the agency to continue pushing the boundaries of creative strategy that moves the needle for our clients. During her tenure, NJI has experienced double-digit growth, won national and international accounts, and received industry-wide recognition. This success is possible thanks to the deep bench of leadership and talent the agency has continued to invest in, as reflected in the recent promotions of Melissa Carle to Vice President, Project Management; Claudio Meira to Vice President, Technology; Ryan Raybould to Vice President, Media Production; and Chelsey Crim to Project Director.
“Good design should not be reserved solely for consumer product and fashion campaigns,” said Kline. “Captivating design at its best invites curiosity, sparks discussion, and changes perspectives. Global public policy design needs to be disrupted. This is what I am most inspired to push further in my new role.”
Joining the team to help push those boundaries in the US and UK are Senior Account Directors Daniel Kemether and Hadley Ristvedt, Program Manager Ben Beresford, Graphic Designer Bebhinne Jennings, and Product Designer Isaac Buckley.
NJI is a global creative agency. We create to shape public policy. Founded in 2007, our clients seek to educate and inform policymakers and policy influencers, stakeholders, and constituents. We develop measurable, strategic communications ideas that our in-house team of designers, developers, editors, producers, writers, and strategists can create and implement. We crave complexity, reveling in the opportunity to simplify the most complex concepts and make them accessible and impactful to a public affairs audience. We focus on making the creative process effortless for our clients by providing the highest level of client service. NJI has offices in Washington, D.C., London, and Singapore.