The Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communications and Editorial Content Strategy serves as a member of the senior leadership team for Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs. The position will oversee media relations, research and global communications, and editorial departments, and will serve as the chief storyteller on campus.
The review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Nominations and applications for the Assistant Vice President, Strategic Communications and Editorial Content Strategy are welcomed as soon as possible. Applications should include a complete résumé or vitae, a letter of interest, and a list of five professional references. All application materials will be considered in full confidence. Please send all nominations, inquiries, and applications electronically to: DukeAVPED@storbecksearch.com.
- Blyth Morrell, Assistant Vice President, Brand and Marketing, Office of Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations
- Laura Brinn, Senior Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement, Office of the President
- Mason Essif, Vice Dean of Communications and Advancement and Chief Communications Officer, Duke University School of Medicine
- Andrew Park, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Communication, Office of the Provost
- Tracey Temne, Associate Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Stewardship, Alumni Engagement and Development
- Kathryn Kennedy, Associate Dean for Communications & Marketing, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
- Leanora Minai, Executive Director for Communication Services and Editor of Working@Duke, Office of Communication Services
Blyth Morrell, Assistant Vice President, Brand and Marketing, Office of Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations
Blyth joined the Duke’s Office of Public Affairs in 2005 in what began as a two-person team dedicated to marketing for the University is now an Emmy-award winning team dedicated to integrated marketing and brand. She oversees social media, video production, strategic events, digital design and message development.
She joined Duke in 2003 and spent the early years of her career in the tech sector focused on web development and graphic design. She initially led the Web Services Team in Trinity College and later in the Office of Information Technology before switching careers paths into Public Affairs.
Blyth has a BA in English and a minor in Computer Information Systems from Lees McRae College. She has numerous certifications such as PMP and Google Analytics as well as graduate of the Duke Leadership Academy.
Laura Brinn, Senior Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement, Office of the President
Laura was appointed to her current role in July 2023. Previously, she served as Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Communications and led executive communications for the Provost and provided strategic guidance for communications activities related to a wide range of academic initiatives, including Duke Kunshan University. She also served in a variety of leadership roles within Duke’s Public Affairs and Government Relations office between 2010-2021. She managed communications and marketing for the launch of Duke Kunshan University, and later led the university’s central social media and editorial teams. Prior to 2010, she served in media relations and marketing roles at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Duke University Health System. And before joining Duke in 2001, she was an account executive at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in New York City.
Laura earned an MBA and a master's degree in liberal studies from Duke, and holds undergraduate degrees in communication and German from East Carolina University, which she attended with support from a University Scholars merit scholarship award. She studied at the University of Mannheim, Germany, for one year as an undergraduate exchange student.
Mason Essif, Vice Dean of Communications and Advancement and Chief Communications Officer, Duke University School of Medicine
Mason leads communications in support of Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Mary Klotman, MD, her executive leadership team, and the School of Medicine at large. He is responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies in support of the school’s missions of education, research, patient care, and community partnership. As head of the school’s Office of Strategic Communications, he leads an extended team of communicators to raise the school’s profile, deepen engagement with stakeholders, donors, and constituents, and highlight achievements to broader and external audiences.
Essif also works with Duke University Health System, to align the school’s messaging and communications priorities with those of the health system and integrated practice, and with Duke University communications leaders to position the school’s messaging within the university’s strategic framework.
Prior to coming to Duke, Essif was the assistant vice provost for communications and public affairs at Weill Cornell Medicine and work as senior vice president at Ogilvy Washington Public Relations. He also served as a reporter and producer at ABC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
Mason has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in media, public relations, and public speaking as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins. He is also a graduate of Ithaca College with an MLA from Johns Hopkins University.
Andrew Park, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Communication, Office of the Provost
Andrew joined the Provost’s Office in 2024 after over 10 years at Duke Law School, most recently as associate dean for communications, marketing, events. He joined Duke in 2013 from Information Services Group, a publicly traded business and technology consulting firm, where he was Director of Global Communications and Branding. A former journalist, he has been a staff writer for BusinessWeek and a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman and The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and his writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Slate, Salon, Fast Company, Inc., and other publications.
Andrew received his BS in international politics, cum laude, from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and his MA in journalism and mass communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Tracey Temne, Associate Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Stewardship, Alumni Engagement and Development
Tracey joined the Duke University Development team in September 2016. As the associate vice president for marketing, communications & stewardship, Tracey serves as the chief communications officer for Alumni Engagement and Development, planning activities and strategic communications to inspire philanthropic support and deepen engagement for Duke.
Prior to coming to Duke, Tracey spent more than two decades developing brand and advertising campaigns for the University of Maryland and Rutgers University, directing high-profile web projects and partnerships for President William Clinton and The Clinton Foundation, directing national legislative advocacy programs on behalf of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and managing events and media relations for National Public Radio. She began her career working in PR agencies and associations in Washington, DC.
Tracey received her BA in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park, her MA in communications from the same university, and her MBA from University of Maryland University College. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Emily Krzyzewski Center, the Marketing and Communications Advisory Committee for the Triangle Community Foundation, the executive board for Jack & Jill Durham, and the executive board for the Mu Omicron Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Kathryn Kennedy, Associate Dean of Communications and Marketing for Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Kathryn is responsible for internal and external communications strategy for the college and executive communications for the dean’s leadership team. She also leads the 10-member Trinity Communications team that creates and curates content to advance the goals of 35 academic departments and programs, and that demonstrates excellence in teaching, research, and the student experience across Trinity.
Kathryn previously worked at the Duke Clinical Research Institute as the senior marketing communications manager and at East Carolina University as chief of communications for health sciences. She began her career in community-based print journalism and is a North Carolina native.
Leanora Minai, Executive Director for Office of Communication Services and Editor-in-Chief of Working@Duke magazine and Working@Duke section on Duke Today, Duke’s daily online news site
Leanora joined Duke in 2004 as the public information officer for Duke University Police Department before joining the Office of Communication Services in 2006. Prior to joining Duke, Leanora was a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times. She also teaches an undergraduate journalism course at the University of Central Florida.
Leanora earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Duke University.
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