Thomas W. Bruce, vice president of university communications at Cornell University, has been appointed senior vice president for public affairs at Dartmouth.
Bruce, a communications executive with extensive experience creating and implementing innovative and effective communications and public relations strategies, brings more than two decades of experience to the top communications role at Dartmouth. In addition to his experience in higher education, Bruce has worked in domestic and international settings with government agencies, foreign countries, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.
He will report directly to President Phil Hanlon ’77 and serve on the president’s senior leadership team. Bruce will assume his new role in November.
“Tommy is a consensus builder with the creativity, energy, and leadership ability necessary to elevate Dartmouth’s reputation in today’s competitive landscape,” says President Hanlon. “He understands higher education and he appreciates Dartmouth’s unique qualities and opportunities. I look forward to working together.”
Since 2004, Bruce has led communications at Cornell, responsible for external and internal communications and marketing. In that role, Bruce implemented a coordinated communications and marketing strategy, elevated Cornell’s web and social media presence, positioned the institution’s president and faculty as experts and spokespeople on important issues, and dramatically increased positive media coverage of the institution.
Cornell has more than 22,000 students in seven undergraduate colleges; a graduate school; and professional schools in business, medicine, law, and veterinary medicine.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Dartmouth community,” says Bruce. “The College’s renowned excellence in both education and scholarship has earned it a unique and enduring place among the world’s greatest academic institutions. I am inspired by President Hanlon’s vision for the future and am eager to get to work sharing your compelling story at a time of great change in higher education.”
At Dartmouth, Bruce’s communications role is an expanded position, with responsibility for enhancing and leading a proactive and integrated communications and marketing function that strategically positions and promotes Dartmouth’s exceptional learning experience and leading research.
Working with President Hanlon and senior leaders, Bruce will help shape, share, and amplify Dartmouth’s story to prospective students, faculty, and staff; to national and global media; and to internal stakeholders. He will lead and manage Dartmouth’s media and public relations, creative and editorial services, web and new media, and marketing functions. Working closely with the Office of the Provost, Bruce will also oversee Dartmouth’s government relations efforts.
Bruce’s appointment follows a national search facilitated by the executive search firm Korn Ferry International. The advisory committee was chaired by Tuck School of Business Dean Paul Danos and included Tuck Professor of Corporate Communication Paul Argenti; Arts & Sciences Professor of Music and Computer Science Michael Casey; Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Michael Mastanduno; Dartmouth Trustee John Replogle ’88; and Dartmouth Trustee Laurel Richie ’81.
“Tommy stood out as a superb strategist with deep experience that is relevant to Dartmouth’s needs,” says Danos. “He will provide critical support to President Hanlon as he develops, articulates, and implements his vision for Dartmouth’s future.”
Before joining Cornell in 2004, Bruce worked for two prominent Washington, D.C., public affairs consultancies, for the Organization of American States, as a Congressional staffer, and in the Carter White House. He also spent two years as anchor of Congress This Week, a national television show broadcast on The Monitor Channel that focused on Congressional newsmakers and policy analysis.
He currently serves on the boards of directors of Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, N.Y., and Sasha Bruce Youthworks, Inc., where he is former board chair. Sasha Bruce Youthworks is the largest private, voluntary agency working with runaways in Washington, D.C.
Bruce received a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University and attended the University of Paris. He was born in Midland, Texas, and grew up in Paris. He currently lives in Ithaca with his wife, Constance L. Bruce, who is director of institutional outreach for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, co-founder of the Ithaca Motion Picture Project, and a former National Geographic Television executive. The couple have two adult daughters.