December 12, 2008

Fortune named vice chancellor for Vanderbilt Public Affairs

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Beth Fortune

Fortune named vice chancellor for Vanderbilt Public Affairs

Beth Fortune, a former gubernatorial press secretary and political reporter, has been named Vanderbilt's vice chancellor for Public Affairs, a position she has held on an interim basis for the past six months.

Fortune joined Vanderbilt in 2000 as associate vice chancellor for Public Affairs after serving as press secretary to former Gov. Don Sundquist for more than six years.

“Beth Fortune possesses an in-depth, comprehensive knowledge of Vanderbilt, as well as a thorough understanding of its culture, history and mission,” said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.

“She is a highly respected and vastly experienced professional in the fields of public affairs, politics and the media, as well as a well-regarded and widely recognized leader in higher education and in our local community. There were many outstanding candidates for this position, but with Beth's depth of experience combined with her passion for Vanderbilt, she was the clear choice.”

As vice chancellor for Public Affairs, she leads the university's comprehensive communications, government and community initiatives and serves as the university's chief spokesperson.

Fortune succeeds Michael Schoenfeld, who became Duke University's vice president for public affairs and government relations July 1. Her appointment is pending approval by the Board of Trust.

“Vanderbilt is an engaging, dynamic institution that has many important constituencies, and it's a privilege to serve in a role that reaches out to so many of them,” Fortune said. “I appreciate this incredible opportunity and look forward to continuing to work with all the members of the Vanderbilt community.”