By SUSAN JONES
Kevin Washo, who has been Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s chief of staff since 2017, was given another title in May — senior vice chancellor for university relations.
The new job means he will oversee the offices of University Communications and Marketing, Government Relations and Advocacy, and Engagement and Community Relations — all areas that were under Kathy Humphrey, former senior vice chancellor for engagement, until last summer when she left to become president of Carlow University. Humphrey’s position was dissolved after she left.
A statement from the University said Washo, in his new role, is “driving these strategic centers to promote Pitt’s reputation and value, and to foster engagement and enhanced collaboration among stakeholders and audiences, internally and externally. This entails telling Pitt’s story through brand alignment, multimodal media and technology, publishing, and creative content development, and building and strengthening the University’s impact and relationships locally, across Pennsylvania, and nationally.”
Washo has already hired Michelle Amato, a familiar face at the University, for the newly created role of special assistant. Amato has served in several positions during more than 25 years at Pitt, most recently as chief of staff to Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research. She will work to strategically align the units under Washo. She will first work with the Office of University Communications and Marketing to better define how the office partners with other communication and marketing staff across Pitt.
Washo also will soon be involved in finding a new vice chancellor for strategic communications and marketing. Ellen Moran, who has held that job for the past four years, announced today that she is leaving Pitt as of Aug. 19 to become vice president for communications and marketing at George Washington University. Kate Ledger, who is currently assistant vice chancellor for marketing, will serve as acting vice chancellor starting Aug. 8.
Washo has a long history with Pitt. He graduated from Pitt in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government. He also served as Student Government Board president during the 2002-03 school year.
The Scranton native was a longtime senior aide to U.S. Senator Bob Casey a White House liaison during Barack Obama’s first presidential term and executive director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf appointed Washo to the Pitt Board of Trustees in February 2016, which he served on until he was named Gallagher’s chief of staff the next year.
While several of Pitt’s senior vice chancellors are officers of the University, Washo will not serve in that capacity and therefore the position does not need to be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at email@example.com or 724-244-4042.
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