Announcement - Interim vice president for communications

September 13, 2022

Dear Colleagues from OPAC and the Broader Communications Community,

I recently announced that Nate Nickerson will step down as vice president for communications on September 23, 2022, to serve as the communications and public affairs partner for the Palo Alto–based venture capital firm DCVC. I have initiated a national search for his successor in this role, someone who will support you and build on all that you and Nate have accomplished. During the transition, Karen Peart will assume overall responsibility for the Office of Public Affairs & Communications as the interim vice president for communications, pending approval by the board of trustees. She brings to this role over two decades of experience leading communications and media relations efforts for Yale.

As you know, Karen currently serves as the director of university media relations, putting her at the center of Yale’s most high-profile communication projects and initiatives. In close collaboration with Nate and many of you, she sets media relations strategy and provides counsel to university leaders on matters of local, national, and international importance. She draws on a background in journalism and on twenty-four years of work advancing Yale’s reputation and managing teams that consistently amplify the accomplishments of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in major news outlets worldwide.

Before coming to Yale, Karen was an award-winning education writer and editor at Scholastic/New York Times Upfront Magazine, a reporter at Gannett Newspapers, and a writer for the National Academy of Sciences and NBC Universal. She has also worked for public relations agencies in New York City, where she managed major product launch campaigns for pharmaceutical firms.

A native of Jamaica raised in New York, Karen earned a Master of Science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She put herself through law school while working fulltime and raising a family in New Haven.

Karen is deeply engaged with the university community and our home city. Her philanthropic and volunteer work includes roles as treasurer and chair of the Fund for Women & Girls at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum Connecticut chapter. At Yale, she serves on the Title IX, Wellness, Provenance, DEI/Belonging, and Y-Work committees, and she is a fellow of Grace Hopper College.

I am grateful to all of you for your exceptional work sharing Yale’s stories with the world and helping us stay connected as a community, and I will keep you informed as we progress in the search for the next vice president for communications. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Karen for taking on this new role.


Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology