UNC hires public relations veteran for new post

Nov. 11, 2013 @ 04:13 PM

UNC Chapel Hill has hired Joel Curran, a UNC alumnus and senior executive at one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, to serve as the university’s first vice chancellor for communications and public affairs.

The UNC Board of Trustees approved the hiring, which was announced on Monday by Chancellor Carol Folt. Curran starts his job on Dec. 2.

The North Carolina native is a 27-year veteran of the public relations industry. During his career, he has worked for The Walt Disney Co. and served as managing director of the flagship New York office for MSLGROUP.

“Joel Curran is a highly respected public relations profession who has an intimate understanding of the strategies and techniques essential to effectively reaching the university’s key audiences in today’s complex communications environment,” Folt said in a statement. “He has a real love for the mission of higher education and Carolina, and is an outstanding addition to our leadership team.”

Curran earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at UNC Chapel Hill in 1986. He’s on the Board of Advisors for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2010, he was recognized by the Chicago Public Relations Society of America chapter’s “Public Relations Professional of the Year.” He also served as an adjunct instructor in public relations and marketing at the University of Chicago’s Graham School.

As vice chancellor, Curran will oversee the University Relations staff, which produces stories and content for the university’s website and social media, among other responsibilities.