By John Connolly
On January 15, 2016, University President John Garvey announced that Elise Italiano has been hired as the new Executive Director of University Communications for Catholic University.
According to an e-mail sent by the Public Affairs office, Italiano will “serve as the chief spokesperson for the University and coordinate all media relations.” She will also serve as the media strategist for President Garvey and communications at Catholic University. Her role also will handle emergency and crisis communications.
Italiano earned her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Providence College and her Master of Art in Theology from Villanova University. She served as a Theology and Bioethics teacher at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School from 2008 to 2014.
Most recently, Italiano worked as the Director of Communications for the Catholic Dioceses of Arlington, Virginia, a post she has held since August of 2014. In her position, Italiano served as a dioceses spokesperson and has strategically planned and implemented major communications. She helped to train both clergy, laymen and women for media appearances, and handled crisis communication for the dioceses, parishes, and schools.
President Garvey said that he is very happy Italiano will be joining the University community.
“She is exceptionally thoughtful and well informed about the issues that matter to us,” Garvey explained. “From her experience as the spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and our trustee Bishop Loverde, she also has a deep understanding of our mission and identity. I look forward to working with her to raise the profile of the University.”
Italiano also expressed her views of becoming part of the Catholic University staff and community.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to join the public affairs staff at The Catholic University of America and to advance the mission of the University through media relations,” said Italiano. “Such a university, with a unique commitment to excellence in teaching and research at the service of the Church, located in the nation’s capital, is an institution whose members have an unparalleled opportunity to shape the cultural conversation. It’s an exciting time to join such a community.”
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, Christopher Lydon, said that Italiano was an easy choice for the new position.
“She is a talented writer who has cultivated a strong relationship with members of the media and I’m convinced that she will help us tell our story to a broad audience” said Lydon.
The Office of Public Affairs serves as the primary source of communications for each of the schools at the Catholic University of America. It provides the schools with writing, editing, graphic design, marketing, photography and advertising services. The office also handles any University related news, responds to press requests, and helps designate faculty experts who can give insight to media inquires about a certain issue. The Office of Public Affairs also played a key role this past September during the visit of Pope Francis to the Catholic University campus.