Peart named interim vice president for communications

Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart to serve as interim vice president for communications while the university searches for a successor to outgoing VP Nate Nickerson.
Karen Peart

Karen Peart (Photo by Dan Renzetti)

Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart will serve as interim vice president for communications while the university conducts a national search for a successor to outgoing Vice President Nate Nickerson, President Peter Salovey announced Tuesday.

The interim appointment is pending approval by the board of trustees.

Salovey recently announced that Nickerson will step down Sept. 23 to serve as communications and public affairs partner for the Palo Alto-based venture capital firm DCVC.

In the interim role, Peart will assume overall responsibility for the Office of Public Affairs & Communications.

As you know, Karen currently serves as the director of university media relations, putting her at the center of Yale’s most high-profile communication projects and initiatives,” the president said in a message to university leaders and communications personnel. “In close collaboration with Nate and many of you, she sets media relations strategy and provides counsel to university leaders on matters of local, national, and international importance. She draws on a background in journalism and on 24 years of work advancing Yale’s reputation and managing teams that consistently amplify the accomplishments of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in major news outlets worldwide.”

Before coming to Yale, Peart was an award-winning education writer and editor at Scholastic/New York Times Upfront Magazine, a reporter at Gannett Newspapers, and a writer for the National Academy of Sciences and NBC Universal. She has also worked for public relations agencies in New York City, where she managed major product launch campaigns for pharmaceutical firms.

A native of Jamaica raised in New York, Peart earned a Master of Science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She put herself through law school while working fulltime and raising a family in New Haven.

I’m honored to lead OPAC’s talented communicators during this transition period,” Peart said. “We’re well equipped and fully primed to continue our vital day-to-day work while advancing major initiatives spearheaded by Nate. Yale has an enviable story to tell, and our efforts will continue to reflect Yale’s commitment to its priorities and principles, and will promote the sense of community that is a Yale hallmark. I am grateful to President Salovey for the trust he places in me.”

Salovey noted that Peart “is deeply engaged with the university community and our home city.” Her philanthropic and volunteer work includes roles as treasurer and chair of the Fund for Women & Girls at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum Connecticut chapter. At Yale, she serves on the Title IX, Wellness, Provenance, DEI/Belonging, and Y-Work committees, and she is a fellow of Grace Hopper College.

I’m thrilled to see Karen take on this responsibility,” Nickerson said of the interim vice presidency. “She has long been a steady leader in OPAC, and during my time at Yale, she has been an invaluable colleague, helping me shape the office’s greater ambitions while she expertly managed our vital relations with the media. OPAC is in good hands.”

The search for Nickerson’s long-term successor is underway.

In the meantime,” Salovey said, “please join me in thanking Karen for taking on this new role.”

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