DJ Perera Named Chief Media Officer at the Ad Council

By Kyle O'Brien 

The Ad Council has hired DJ Perera as chief media officer. She succeeds Kathy Kayse, who will be retiring May 12 after leading the media team for the last five 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, using both pro bono and paid media 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 in a statement. “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 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.

“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 in a statement.

Perera is active on many industry committees and boards, most recently being appointed as chairperson of the Association of National Advertisers’ media committee.