University News

Brown fills two communications positions

Staff members appointed to build University relationships with journalists, government

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The University has recently filled two senior-level roles in communications. Brian Clark began his position Feb. 22 as the director of news and editorial development, and Albert Dahlberg was promoted to assistant vice president of government and community relations after serving for seven years as director of state and community relations.

Both men will help shape the University’s relationships with external institutions such as media organizations and government entities.

Clark, previously the director of public affairs at Roger Williams University, will direct news and media relations for the University. The role includes facilitating news coverage through the University’s own news site and communications with campus publications and external news media, he said.

“What we want to do is start to diversify the types of stories that we tell about Brown,” Clark said. While past University media has had an exclusive focus on faculty and student research, Clark hopes to direct attention to “the totality of the Brown experience.” New areas of interest will include “what makes campus life distinctive,” teaching, administration, scholarship and campus events, Clark added.

Serving as the spokesperson on University operations, initiatives and activities will entail working with journalists on “an hour-to-hour basis” due to the University’s prestige and visibility in the national news, Clark said.

Clark hopes to “elevate the reputation of the University” to both recruit students from different backgrounds with varying academic interests and improve the career opportunities of alums, he said.

“Colleges and universities have adopted models of creating strong news operations within their communications divisions because we — rather than traditional news media — are now the primary drivers of news about the University’s priorities and what makes us distinctive,” wrote Vice President of Communications Cass Cliatt in an email to The Herald.

“Brian is uniquely positioned to lead this work because of his extensive experience building and leading strategic teams,” wrote Cliatt, who oversees Clark. Clark will replace Mark Nickel, who served as news director until he left the University in February, she added.

While Clark focuses on the University’s presence in the news, Dahlberg will specifically oversee all government relations. He will aim to advance the University’s strategic and operational plans by maintaining relationships with government officials at the federal, state and city levels, he said.

“In his new role as assistant vice president of government and community relations, (Dahlberg) will build on his solid foundation of experience and knowledge in this area,” said Russel Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president for planning and policy, who oversees Dahlberg’s work.

“A lot of my responsibility is to enhance our partnerships with the city and the state and local community organizations in ways that are mutually beneficial,” Dahlberg said. Since the University and the community are “interlinked,” the success of one depends on the success of the other, he added.

The University works with local governments to help combat city fiscal constraints through developing economic programs, employing community members, supporting local businesses, assisting the public school program and improving regional health, according to a pamphlet created by the office of government and community relations. The programs are a result of a “healthy relationship” between the University and local governments, Dahlberg said.

Prior to his work at the University, Dahlberg worked in government under then-Senator John Chafee P’75 GP’14 GP’17 and worked as counsel on air issues in the Senate Environment Committee. He has also worked at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dahlberg’s “diversity of experience” and understanding of government’s inner workings allow him to better advocate University interests, he said.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Albert Dahlberg worked with Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17. In fact, he worked with John Chafee P’75 GP’14 GP’17. The Herald regrets the error.