President and CEO
DPBell & Associates
Desiree is a strategic planner, brand strategist, and savvy public administrator. Honored as one of the industry's best and brightest in PR Week's 40 under 40, and a "Shorty Award" winner, Peterkin Bell regularly strives to identify, create and leverage traditional and non traditional media. She previously served as director of communications and strategic partnerships for former Mayor Michael Nutter for the City of Philadelphia. She is responsible for the long-term planning and oversight of the Mayor's communications strategy and worked closely with the Mayor and top Administration officials as a senior advisor.
Prior to that position, Peterkin Bell served as the director of communications for mayor Cory A. Booker in Newark, New Jersey. In 2009, the New Jersey League of Municipalities recognized Peterkin Bell's leadership and named the City's Office of Communications as the "Best City Office of Communications in New Jersey".
Prior to joining Mayor Booker's team, Peterkin Bell served New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as vice president of government affairs for the city's marketing development corporation, NYC Marketing. She developed and implemented strategies and platforms to secure multimillion dollar partnerships and sponsorships for the city with General Motors, Universal Studios, Country Music Awards, The Latin Grammy's, and negotiated media barters with cities like London, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf, Germany.
After a brief stint in the District of Columbia, working on a range of public policy issues, the National Urban Fellows Program awarded Peterkin Bell a full scholarship toward a masters in Public Administration. As a National Urban Fellow, Mayor Bart Peterson, Indianapolis, Indiana, selected Peterkin Bell to serve in his administration addressing community engagement, economic development, education, strategic governance, and affordable housing issues.
Peterkin Bell is an alumna of the A Better Chance program and a graduate of Swarthmore College where she majored in political science and education and received the Dean's Award for outstanding academic achievement and exemplary community service. In addition, she excelled in athletics as a five-time National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American in track and field.
A special part of Peterkin Bell's vocation includes mentoring minority students. She is a founding member of the Simmons Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit that supports students in their efforts to achieve their education and self-reliance goals. She focuses on students whose backgrounds, like hers are modest, encouraging them to break through boundaries and barriers to determine the path toward their goals.
Peterkin Bell is married to Brian Bell and has a daughter. They live in Center City, Philadelphia.