The UC Office of the President, or UCOP, announced its appointee for senior vice president of External Relations and Communications on Wednesday, a decision approved by the UC Board of Regents.
Brent Colburn, the man selected by the UCOP to serve in the position, is equipped with prior experience in the fields of higher education, the nonprofit sector, the federal government and national politics, according to a UCOP press release. As senior vice president, Colburn will oversee university-wide internal and external communication, government relations, advancement and alumni relations and research and public service.
“He joins the University at a pivotal time marked by a new presidential administration, the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and a focus on social justice reform, climate change innovation and medical breakthroughs,” the press release reads.
Colburn currently holds the position of vice president for communications and public affairs at Princeton University and is a member of its cabinet, working alongside Princeton’s board of trustees, senior leaders and president to oversee affairs and initiatives.
In the past, Colburn also served as assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and director of external affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Obama Administration, the press release noted.
Colburn’s political experience does not end there. Colburn worked for several political campaigns, even serving as national communications director for former President Barack Obama’s reelection. He also served in the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to the press release.
In the past, Colburn has been the recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the William & Mary Baxter-Ward Fellowship for Distinguished Government Department Alumni.
His base annual salary while serving as senior vice president of External Relations and Communications will be $415,000, with a 20% signing bonus.
“I’d like to thank President Drake and the Board of Regents for this opportunity to serve the students, faculty and staff of the University of California,” Colburn said in the press release. “It is hard to imagine an institution better positioned to contribute to the greater good at this critical moment for California and our nation, and I look forward to being a part of the University’s vital work.”