President Peter Salovey has announced today that Nate Nickerson has been appointed vice president for communications. Nickerson will lead Yale’s Office of Public Affairs & Communications (OPAC) and serve as the university’s chief communications officer. His first day at Yale will be March 1.
“A gifted communicator and an experienced leader, Nate has a keen vision for this valuable role,” Salovey said. “He understands that engaging broad audiences — here on campus and around the world — is essential to advancing our mission of education and research. I am extremely pleased Nate is joining the Yale community.”
Currently vice president for communications at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Nickerson has broad experience in all aspects of university communications. At Yale, Nickerson will direct Yale’s campus-wide internal and external communications strategies. He will be responsible for overseeing the university’s media relations, digital strategy and social media platforms, and YaleNews. OPAC collaborates with communications staff in schools and departments across the university to share Yale accomplishments, breakthroughs, and events.
“I am deeply honored by President Salovey’s invitation to serve this extraordinary university,” Nickerson said. “Yale faculty, students, alumni, and staff have long changed the nation and the world, and communications must serve as a vital tool for their perpetual attraction, inspiration, and support. I am thrilled to be joining the Yale community, and I look forward to sharing its gifts with the world.”
In a 15-year career at MIT, Nickerson helped establish MIT News, one of the most-read university news services in the country with a global audience of 500,000 monthly unique visitors; oversaw the creation and integration of modern web, social, video, and email products; and directed the launch of major initiatives. At MIT, he leads a 25-person communications office that is responsible for news production, media relations, branding, social media, and crisis management, and that convenes more than 200 communications staff from across the campus.
Nickerson serves on the Public Affairs Steering Committee of the Association of American Universities. He began his career in New York in publishing and later held leading editorial positions at Fast Company and Technology Review. Nickerson holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Beloit College. His wife, Heather Hayes, is interim associate dean for finance and administration at Boston College Law School, and together they have one daughter, Abigail.
In making the announcement, Salovey expressed his deep appreciation to Tom Conroy, who has led OPAC during this interim period, and to all of Yale’s communications staff members.