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Vice President for University Communications: Stephen MacCarthy

September 6, 2011, Volume 58, No. 02


Penn President Amy Gutmann announced in late July that Stephen J. MacCarthy, vice president for external relations at the University of Arizona, became the University of Pennsylvania’s vice president for university communications. He assumed his new position on August 29. Mr. MacCarthy’s appointment concludes a nationwide search. He replaced Lori Doyle, who left Penn at the end of January to become senior vice president, university communications, at Drexel. Mr. MacCarthy’s appointment will go before the University Trustees in November for confirmation.

As vice president, Mr. MacCarthy has overall responsibility for communicating Penn’s goals and achievements to internal and external audiences in Philadelphia, across the country, and around the world.

“Steve is a strategic communications leader who brings a wealth of experience to the position,” President Gutmann said. “He has a deep and extensive understanding of higher education, an appreciation of Penn’s aspirations and needs, and a fresh perspective on the use of both traditional and new communications methods and media. He will be a wonderful addition to our leadership team, and I look forward to working closely with him in the months and years ahead.”

Prior to joining the University of Arizona in 2007, Mr. MacCarthy was vice president for university relations at Pennsylvania State University for 11 years. Prior to that, he was at the California State University system where he was director of public affairs and university relations for the last seven of his nine years there.

Mr. MacCarthy earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in 1977. He began his career as a comedy writer in Hollywood after winning a national writing contest sponsored by 20th Century Fox. He then moved from television to advertising then served as a press secretary and speechwriter before moving into higher education.

Almanac - September 6, 2011, Volume 58, No. 02