Pell appointed Penn State associate vice president for news and media relations

June 30, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rachel Pell has been named associate vice president for news and media relations at Penn State, effective June 29. Pell comes to Penn State after serving as senior vice president, group manager at Ketchum Public Relations in New York City.

As associate vice president, Pell will focus on developing and implementing the University’s external media and public relations strategies, while positioning Penn State as a global leader in the integration of teaching, research and public service. She also will direct the University’s internal communications. Pell will report directly to Lawrence Lokman, vice president for strategic communications.

At Ketchum, Pell led public relations and marketing communications campaigns for major national and international accounts, including Pfizer’s global business and Takeda Pharmaceuticals' global corporate content strategy, diabetes and gastroenterology franchises, and oncology product business, among other pharmaceutical and public health clients.

“Rachel is the ideal person to help raise Penn State’s national and international profile as one of the world’s leading research universities,” said Lokman. “She brings a national and global focus to her work, and has deep experience across a range of communications disciplines needed to successfully position Penn State in the digital era. I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Rachel back to State College.”

“Working with patients and physicians for many years was so enriching because it provided an opportunity to make a difference,” said Pell, a State College native. “That same opportunity is what drew me back to Penn State — being able to make a difference by amplifying the groundbreaking research and exciting work of our faculty, staff and students, and sharing with the world all of the incredible ways that Penn State is making a difference in people’s lives.”

Pell brings a broad range of experience to Penn State, including issues and crisis management, national and international proactive media success, cause campaigns, team leadership, and cross-team collaboration. She is also skilled at communicating translational research for lay and professional audiences, managing social media and digital communications efforts, and developing public relations campaigns that advance reputation metrics.

Prior to joining Ketchum in 2004, Pell was an account supervisor at Weber Shandwick Worldwide in New York City from 2000 to 2004, where she developed and executed public relations initiatives for various pharmaceutical and consumer health clients. She also served as a marketing and public relations assistant supervisor at WPSX-TV in State College from 1999 to 2000, where she supported PBS outreach programs for children and assisted in the station’s marketing and promotional strategies.

Pell holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Penn State and attended the Center for European Studies at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Pell’s honors include being named a recipient of Ketchum’s David Drobis Client Excellence Award, one of the agency’s highest honors that recognizes individuals globally for superior client service.

  • Rachel Pell

    Rachel Pell has been named associate vice president for news and media relations at Penn State.

    IMAGE: Michelle Bixby
Last Updated July 05, 2016