New Chief Communicator

June 1, 2008
Schoenfeld: new communications strategist.

Schoenfeld: new communications strategist. Neil Brake

Michael J. Schoenfeld '84, vice chancellor for public affairs at Vanderbilt University, has been named Duke's new vice president for public affairs and government relations. He will take over from John Burness in July.

In his new position, Schoenfeld will serve on President Richard H. Brodhead's senior leadership team and become the university's chief communications strategist.

Schoenfeld has been at Vanderbilt since 1997, exercising broad responsibility for the university's local, regional, and national external affairs, government and community relations, publications and websites, and special events. He has also taught a graduate course on crisis management in higher education.

Under his leadership, the university has greatly expanded its media operations and received numerous public-affairs honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and other organizations, including five regional Emmy awards for its online video news productions.

Schoenfeld served for several years as a member of Duke Magazine 's Editorial Advisory Board. He currently fills leadership roles with the National Academy for Media Arts and Sciences, the Public Relations Society of America, and the Association of American Universities, and previously served on the board of the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the CASE Commission on Communications. He will serve as general chairman of the 2009 CASE Senior Summit, the largest annual gathering of educational advancement leaders.

Before coming to Vanderbilt, Schoenfeld was senior vice president for policy and public affairs at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). As the leader of CPB's Internet and technology initiatives, he helped develop one of the first public telecommunications websites and negotiated a partnership with the MIT Media Lab.

Schoenfeld earned a master's in public policy from the Harriman School at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He and his wife, Elizabeth Temple Schoenfeld '84, met while both were undergraduates at Duke. They have one daughter, Abby.