Community relations spot to lie vacant

A week before GW’s current head of community relations is slated to leave his role, a top University official said GW has yet to determine who will permanently replace the assistant vice president.

Vice President of External Relations Lorraine Voles said the University will not be able to hire a permanent successor before Michael Akin, assistant vice president for the Office of Government, International and Community Relations, steps down from his position April 15. Instead, GW will appoint someone to fill the spot on an interim basis.

Akin announced two weeks ago that his 12-year tenure at the University was drawing to an end after he accepted an offer to move to a strategic communications firm.

The alumnus is widely credited for maintaining a strong line of communication between GW and the surrounding neighborhood, despite its rollercoaster relationship with the University.

Voles said the University has not determined who will fill Akin’s role until an internal and national search finds a candidate to take on the position. She added that she does not believe Akin’s departure will have a negative impact on GW’s relationship with the neighborhood.

Other GW staff members have also forged connections with the community, Voles said, including Director of Community Relations Brittany Waddell, who “has solid relationships with the neighbors, the ANC and other community groups.”

Voles said she does not believe the community would react negatively if someone from outside of GW were hired.

“I think they will see them as an additional resource,” Voles said.

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