Julie Hail Flory, interim vice chancellor for public affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, has been appointed vice chancellor for marketing and communications, effective April 1, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. Flory succeeds Jill D. Friedman, who left the position in December 2019.
Flory has served since January 2020 in the interim role, providing strategic communications leadership and overseeing the work of the Office of Public Affairs, which manages university-level communications including creative services, digital strategy, marketing and brand strategy, media relations, social media, strategic initiatives, university news and the publication of Washington magazine. In conjunction with this appointment, Public Affairs will be renamed University Marketing and Communications.
“We’re poised to ramp up our focus on defining and promoting the university’s brand through strategic marketing and communications,” Martin said. “Under Julie’s leadership and building upon the strong work of the Public Affairs team, I’m confident that we will bring renewed energy to our effort to tell the WashU story to new and existing audiences on campus, in St. Louis and around the world. Julie has been an exceptional leader this past year successfully navigating our community through a pandemic with clarity and empathy in messaging. I am grateful she has agreed to step into this important role.”
Flory, who will become a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, brings to the position more than two decades of experience in higher education public relations and communications. She came to Washington University in 2014 as assistant vice chancellor for campus communications and in 2018 was promoted to associate vice chancellor for university communications.
Prior to joining the university, she had spent 13 years at the University of Notre Dame, where she served as assistant director and then associate director for news and information, and ultimately director of public relations. She previously had worked for seven years as a television news reporter and anchor in Colorado, Idaho and Indiana.
At Washington University, Flory has led communications for high-level initiatives, events and critical issues, including most recently the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its renewed commitment to racial equity. She also has led or played a key role in setting and executing against communications strategies for Martin’s inauguration in 2019, the university’s participation in the 2016 presidential debate and its response to the Ferguson uprising in 2014.
“Washington University is a special place with a great story to tell about our people, our research and scholarship, and our commitment to the St. Louis region,” Flory said. “Our goal is to be the best marketing and communications team in higher education. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead our efforts as we work to define, build and promote the WashU brand to audiences near and far. We have an exceptionally talented group and I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead for our team and the university.”
A proud first-generation college graduate, Flory earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from San José State University and her master’s degree in American culture studies from Washington University. She also is a graduate of the Strategic Leaders Executive Education Program at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, Ryan, and their three teenagers.