COLUMBUS, Ga., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac Incorporated announced today that it has hired Catherine H. Blades to the newly created position of senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Aflac Incorporated, reporting to Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president, Corporate Services, Aflac Incorporated. In her new position, Blades will define, lead and integrate the implementation of Aflac's communications strategy to proactively and effectively promote internal and external communications. Blades brings more than two decades of leadership experience in the field of communications to Aflac. Most recently, she served as chief communications and marketing officer at Flextronics where she was responsible for several areas, including corporate communications and public affairs. In addition to serving as Flextronics' international spokesperson interacting with a variety of constituents, Blades supervised cross-functional teams in Asia, Europe and the Americas with an emphasis on global brand and reputation management. Previously, Blades also served as vice president of Communications and Public Affairs at Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems business. Additionally, she was responsible for international and marketing communications at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and held various other communications-related leadership positions. Blades earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and is a Loyola University Environmental Communications Fellow. Aflac Incorporated Executive Vice President of Corporate Services Audrey Boone Tillman commented, "Over the last several decades, Aflac has established a strong reputation for transparency in our communications, and we view this as a critical element of our success. As we continually strive to strengthen every aspect of our business, we are thrilled that Catherine has joined the Aflac team. I believe her wide-ranging communication experience, combined with her strong leadership skills, will strengthen our many facets of communication. I look forward to her contributions and have no doubt that she will be instrumental to the future success of Aflac." ABOUT AFLAC When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For seven consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2013, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 16th consecutive year. Also, in 2013, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 12th time, ranking the company number one in the life and health insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.