Announcement – Vice President for Communications

February 1, 2023

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Renee Kopkowski as vice president for communications, effective April 1, 2023. Renee will lead Yale’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications, serve as the university’s chief communications officer, and guide campus-wide internal and external communications strategies.

Renee brings to Yale extensive experience in communications at academic and other non-profit institutions, multi-national corporations, and medical centers, as well as exceptional leadership and team-building skills. She currently is vice president for Institute Communications at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Working collaboratively with colleges, schools, and units across Georgia Tech, Renee has built a talented team of writers, editors, and marketing professionals. With Renee’s leadership, her team has launched communications initiatives to create a sense of community and celebrate the accomplishments of Georgia Tech’s students, faculty, and staff. Through effective, strategic storytelling, Renee and her staff have increased the breadth and quality of social and traditional media coverage of faculty research, campus life, and educational programs. In addition, Renee has established internal communications strategies that support institutional goals and priorities and was instrumental in helping the Georgia Tech community navigate the challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic.

Prior to being recruited to Georgia Tech, Renee served as president and partner of the consulting firm strat-igence, Inc.; senior director of global external communications for Mars, Inc.; and vice president for corporate affairs for Mars Chocolate North America; and held leadership roles at other organizations. In each of these positions, she led by establishing and implementing a clear vision for internal and external communications, public relations, and marketing. She approached both routine events and moments of great disruption by focusing on and conveying the principles and values of her organization.

With experience building comprehensive communications strategies and managing teams within large, complex organizations, Renee is well-regarded for being a collaborative leader and dedicated mentor who fosters excellence and creativity and welcomes diverse talents and perspectives. She has received numerous awards and honors, and she provides guidance to others in her profession through her service on the Advisory Board of the Elon School of Communications, as a member of the Association of American Universities’ Public Affairs Steering Committee, and as a member and former president of the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Renee earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Clemson University. She is married to Christopher Kopkowski, a senior product engineer at BlueLinx, Co. They have two daughters, Emma and Samantha. Fans of pizza, vibrant urban centers, live music, and the arts, they are very much looking forward to enjoying all that Yale and New Haven offer.

In joining the Yale community, Renee assumes the responsibilities held by Nate Nickerson until last September, when he accepted an appointment as the communications and public affairs partner for the Palo Alto–based venture capital firm DCVC. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere appreciation to Karen Peart for her dedicated service as the interim vice president for communications. I also am deeply grateful to the members of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications for their outstanding work and commitment to the university during the transition.

Please join me in extending a very warm Yale welcome to Renee Kopkowski and her family!


Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology