Dartmouth Appoints Roddy Olvera Young Vice President

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Roddy Olvera Young

Roddy Olvera Young brings experience in government, education, and business to his new role as Dartmouth’s vice president for communications. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Roderic (Roddy) Olvera Young has been appointed Dartmouth’s vice president for communications and will assume his new role on June 10, 2011. He comes to Dartmouth from TMG Strategies/MSLGroup, a Washington, D.C.-based communications firm that is part of the Publicis Groupe network. With experience working in government, education, and business, Young brings exceptional background in creating and managing large-scale communications efforts across multiple sectors.

“Roddy will be a valued partner for all of us who seek to engage in dialogue about the highest aims and purposes of liberal arts and professional education,” said President Jim Yong Kim. “His breadth of experience and appreciation for Dartmouth’s distinctive place in higher education made him an ideal candidate.”

As the chair of the MSLGroup’s Reputation Management Practice and, formerly, as director of TMG’s Media Relations team, Young advised universities, corporations, and government agencies. Prior to that he served as press secretary for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In his leadership role, he contributed to the development and implementation of NASA’s global media strategy and internal communications for the agency’s 17,000 direct employees and its 100,000 contractors. His public policy experience also includes six years serving as press secretary to Representative Esteban Torres. During that time he led the Congressman’s local and national public relations efforts, as well as work related to his Appropriations and Financial Services Committee assignments.

Young will be responsible for working with the College’s leadership to communicate with all of Dartmouth’s constituents and to represent the highest aspirations of its faculty, students, staff, and alumni. He will manage the Office of Public Affairs and work collaboratively with colleagues in the professional schools to illuminate Dartmouth’s role in higher education and the impact of faculty research and scholarship.

“Roddy is an insightful and creative thinker who has worked in a range of complex organizations,” said Senior Vice President for Advancement Carolyn Pelzel. “He has a deep appreciation for the mission of Dartmouth and the opportunity to expand the College’s reach and standing throughout the world.” Young will report to Pelzel.

The appointment follows a nationwide search from which Young emerged as the “absolute top choice,” according to search committee Chair Marcelo Gleiser, the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth. Gleiser said that, “In a pool of very talented candidates, Roddy stood out. He understands the communications challenges that universities today face and he has creative solutions for approaching them. I look forward to supporting his efforts.” Other members of the search committee were Jim Badenhausen ’87, a partner at the communications firm of Robinson Lerer & Montgomery; Paul Danos, dean of the Tuck School of Business; Thomas Herbert, associate vice for president for Development; Maria Laskaris ’84, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid; and David Spalding ’76, chief of staff to President Kim.

“There are three clear things that stand out and excite me about joining Dartmouth: its people, its substance, and how the College is taking a fresh look at what higher education can mean in the 21st century,” said Young. “I very much look forward to joining such a vibrant and collaborative community and helping one of the finest institutions in the world amplify its reach and impact.”

Young earned his BA in government and politics from the University of Maryland and currently lives in Virginia with his wife Gretchen and their three children.

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Contact the Office of Public Affairs
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office.of.public.affairs@dartmouth.edu