Strategic Relations and Communications is welcoming Candace Smith as its new assistant vice chancellor for strategic media relations. Smith will oversee efforts to advance CU Boulder’s reputation by gaining recognition of the research, work and achievements of its students, faculty and staff while managing crisis communications for the CU Boulder campus.
Smith, who started her new position on July 17, has more than 25 years of experience in communications, specifically in higher education, public transportation and journalism. She spent the past eight years as assistant vice president of media relations and chief spokesperson for The George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C.
Smith comes to CU Boulder with “a wealth of experience in higher ed, as well as direct experience in journalism and managing emergency communications,” said Frances Draper, vice chancellor for strategic relations and communications.
“Candace’s background in providing strategic media counsel at the executive level combined with her experience and training on garnering positive national and international media coverage are excellent additions to our team,” Draper said. “We look forward to the new ideas and energy she will bring to our campus.”
Other achievements included partnering with The Young Turks, BBC, CNN, VOA and other media outlets to host live broadcast events on campus, and with Huffington Post, The Atlantic and other publications to feature GW experts on select topics and special events. In addition, Smith solicited and secured the hosting of the 2018 National Association of Science Writers Conference at GW.
Before working in higher education, Smith spent five years as a spokesperson and the executive communications advisor to the general manager at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) and another 16 years as a print and broadcast journalist, including seven years at the Associated Press in Washington, D.C.
Smith grew up on a ranch in North Dakota and said that moving to Colorado and exploring the state’s outdoor amenities resonated with her, her husband and their three children. Ultimately, however, it was CU Boulder’s strong national reputation as a comprehensive public research university that drew her to Colorado.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to contribute to CU Boulder’s success on the national and international stage,” she said. “I look forward to collaborating with campus leadership, staff and faculty members as we seek to implement new and more effective ways of sharing good news and managing issues and events of interest to all of our audiences.”