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Steve Ertel

Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing

Steve ErtelSteve Ertel leads Vanderbilt University’s communications and marketing operations to enhance Vanderbilt’s global reputation and amplify its impact as one of the world’s leading academic research institutions. In addition to serving as an advisor and thought partner to university leaders, Ertel oversees a team that executes comprehensive and integrated internal and external communication and marketing functions, including media relations, research communications, executive communications, brand marketing, experiential marketing, marketing technology, brand activation, graphic design, visual media, signature events, social media, digital strategy and web operations..

During his tenure, the Communications and Marketing division has earned several awards, including 18 Emmy awards for video production (as of 2022); a PRSA Silver Anvil Award, the highest honor in the communications industry, for the “Anchor Down, Step Up” campaign; and numerous awards and recognition from CASE, PRNEWS and the Collegiate Advertising Awards.

Prior to his appointment, Ertel served as the vice president of strategic communications for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading global conservation organization and one of the most recognized nonprofit brands globally. In 2016, Ertel was honored as one of PRWeek’s “40 Under 40,” which highlights “innovators in creativity and influencers positioned to guide the industry toward a new horizon.” Before joining WWF, he served in senior communications roles at The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund. Ertel began his career in the private sector, where he managed public relations for technology and biotechnology companies.

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