August 11, 2000

VU names Fortune associate vice chancellor for Public Affairs

Featured Image

Beth Fortune

Beth Fortune, press secretary to Gov. Don Sundquist and a former political reporter, has been appointed associate vice chancellor for public affairs at Vanderbilt University, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Michael J. Schoenfeld has announced.

Fortune will serve as the principal deputy to Schoenfeld in the new division, which has responsibility for coordinating overall communications, marketing and public policy initiatives across the institution. She will join Vanderbilt Sept. 11.

“Beth Fortune is a remarkable talented executive,” Schoenfeld said. “Her experience at the intersection of politics, journalism and public policy will be valuable as Vanderbilt moves to a new level of local, regional and international prominence. I’m one of many who have admired her skill under pressure, and I am delighted to welcome her to our team.”

“I am excited to join the Vanderbilt University team and look forward to working with the dynamic leadership and incredible talent that has been assembled as the university moves into a new era,” Fortune said.

A member of the Governor’s Cabinet and the first female press secretary in Tennessee history, Fortune serves as the primary spokesperson for the Sundquist administration. She oversees the governor’s press office and supervises public information activities for 22 state government departments. Earlier this year, both the Nashville Scene and Business Nashville singled her out as among the most effective and respected public affairs professionals in the city.

Before joining the governor’s staff, Fortune served as Sundquist’s campaign press secretary in his 1994 run for office. She previously worked as a principal in the Fulton Group, a Nashville lobbying firm, and as manager of public affairs for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.

From 1985-1992, Fortune was a political reporter for the now-defunct Nashville Banner. A 1985 graduate of Anderson College, she earned an M.A. in journalism and public affairs from The American University. She serves on the board of WIN (Women in Nineties) and is a former board member of the Nashville Women’s Political Caucus and the Community Resource Center.