Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed July 17, 1996
Contact: Mark Nickel

Laura Freid named vice president for University Relations at Brown

Laura Freid, a senior communications officer at Harvard University, will become Brown University's spokesperson and head of communications and external affairs.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Laura Freid, a senior communications officer at Harvard University, has been named vice president for University Relations at Brown University. Brown President Vartan Gregorian announced Freid's appointment today, ending the University's eight-month nationwide search for a new institutional spokesperson and head of communications and external affairs.

"Laura Freid's experience as editor and publisher and her strong background in communications strategy and management in higher education made her an unusually strong candidate for this position," Gregorian said. "The search committee received strong recommendations for her candidacy from many sources, including the presidents of Boston and Harvard universities. I want to extend my thanks and congratulations to the search committee and its chair, trustee David McKinney, for a job well done. I am delighted to welcome Laura as a colleague and member of my senior staff."

As vice president for University Relations, Freid will function as the University's chief spokesperson, with overall responsibility for four key external affairs offices: the Brown News Bureau, the Office of Special Events, the Office of Government and Community Relations, and the Office of Publications and Video Services. Her position and that of the vice president for Alumni Relations, currently in search, were established upon the retirement last December of Robert A. Reichley. As executive vice president, Reichley had responsibility for both University Relations and Alumni Relations. Freid's experience in alumni affairs and public relations, Gregorian said, will help the University establish its new configuration in external affairs and allow closer cooperation by the offices of University Relations, Alumni Relations, and Development.

"I am honored to have been selected to serve Brown University at such an important time in higher education," Freid said. "I enter Brown along with the members of the Class of 2000 who, like me, have been drawn to the University's outstanding leadership, teaching, research and public service. I am pleased to help President Gregorian and the faculty communicate Brown's academic mission to its many constituencies."

A graduate of Washington University (B.A., philosophy, 1974) and the Boston University Graduate School of Management (M.B.A., 1989), Freid has spent nearly all of her career in higher education. After three years of writing and editing at a variety of publications, she became editor of Boston University Today, a tabloid that replaced 16 newsletters published by various schools within the university. In 1978 she was named director of university publications and editor of Bostonia Magazine, advancing to assistant vice president for university relations four years later. She continued as editor of Bostonia Magazine and added the role of publisher.

In 1989, Freid moved to Harvard University and served in several capacities: publisher of Harvard Magazine; executive director of the Ivy League Magazine Network, a national marketing and advertising consortium; and senior consultant on university communications.

Freid's work has been honored by a number of professional organizations, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Society of Magazine Designers and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She has served on several editorial boards, including Connections (the New England Board of Higher Education), the American Council on Education, and Harvard's Journal of International Relations.

Serving on the search committee were its chair, David McKinney, retired IBM senior vice president, Brown trustee and parent; Peter Bernstein '73, executive editor of U.S News & World Report; Spencer Crew '71, Brown trustee and director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History; Mara Liasson '77, correspondent for National Public Radio; Linda Mason '64, vice president for public affairs at CBS News; Kirk O'Donnell '68, an attorney in Washington, D.C.; and Wendy Strothman '72, Brown trustee and executive vice president at Houghton Mifflin. Brian Hawkins, vice president for academic planning, served as senior administrative liaison for the committee.