Milken external relations head to serve as interim communications vice president

Media Credit: Grace Hromin | Senior Photo Editor

Stacey DiLorenzo will succeed Sarah Baldassaro, pictured here at Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting, who starts as American University's chief of staff on Nov. 1.

Stacey DiLorenzo, the executive dean of external relations for the Milken Institute School of Public Health, will serve as GW’s next interim vice president of communications and marketing.

Officials announced at a Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday that DiLorenzo will succeed Sarah Baldassaro, who held the position since last summer, as she becomes chief of staff at American University. Officials had named Heather Swain to the role last August, but she withdrew her acceptance for the job days later after criticism for her role at Michigan State University during the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, exacerbating existing tensions between the GW community and administrators.

DiLorenzo will oversee a centralized communications division formed last year after Lorraine Voles, the former vice president of external relations, left GW at the end of June 2020. The Washington Post reported late last month that Vice President Kamala Harris tapped Voles to serve as a senior adviser.

The restructuring, which was recommended by outside consultants before the pandemic, led to layoffs in the University’s communications and marketing offices amid broader financial mitigation efforts to curb the pandemic’s financial impact.

“Sarah provided sound advice to me and the rest of the leadership even before her service as interim vice president for communications and marketing,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said at Tuesday’s Board meeting. “She led the reorganization of the division and the move to the shared-services model. If it were not for Sarah’s leadership, we would not have been able to move things forward as smoothly as we did.”

Baldassaro will begin the new role on Nov. 1, according to an American University release.

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