Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International announced on Monday its appointment of a former aide to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Japan as vice president of global industry affairs. Debra DeShong will lead the firm’s global hospitality and entertainment media relations and “messaging strategies”, the company said in a press release.
MGM Resorts is the parent firm of Macau-based casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd, via a 56-percent stake.
Ms DeShong arrives at MGM Resorts with more than 20 years of experience in public policy, communications and international relations, according to Monday’s release. She most recently served as executive vice president and managing director of public affairs for Subject Matter, a communications firm that is based in Washington DC.
“Debra’s decades of leadership in public policy and international relations, coupled with her expertise in messaging and strategy, make her a highly valuable addition to the MGM Resorts team,” said Alan Feldman, the firm’s executive vice president of global industry affairs, in a statement. “We are thrilled to add her to our talented workforce as we continue to expand our footprint worldwide,” he added.
Prior to working at Subject Matter, Ms DeShong served as chief of staff to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy when the latter was U.S. diplomatic representative to Japan. While in Japan, Ms DeShong – according to the release – worked on matters including business-community relations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and issues concerning women’s role in society.
MGM Resorts had declared itself a candidate for a Japanese casino gaming licence long before lawmakers in that country passed the casino enabling bill in December last year.
The company said last week it would be added to the casinos and gaming sub-industry index of the S&P 500 prior to the open of trading on July 26, 2017.
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"Most investors believe that Macau is ‘uninvestable’. Our experience has been that when opinions are so unanimously negative, then the risk/reward is skewed to the upside"
Japanese brokerage Nomura