Paul M. Rand, a senior communications executive who has founded and led successful public relations and digital agencies, has been named Vice President for Communications after a national search. His appointment is effective Aug. 1.
Rand held senior roles at leading communications firms before building two agencies of his own: Corporate Technology Communications, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations firms; and Zócalo Group, a full-service digital and social media agency. Based in Chicago, Zócalo Group has received numerous industry awards for its work. Rand is currently chairman of Critical Mass/Zócalo.
“The University benefits greatly from communications that foster engagement around our academic mission, in a global context where modes of communication are always changing,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “Paul is a highly regarded industry leader in digital communications and social media as well as traditional communications—areas that will enhance and extend the University’s current communications capabilities.”
Rand’s previous roles include serving as chief digital officer and chief growth and innovation officer at Ketchum, a global public relations firm, and as an executive vice president at Golin. He started his career at Burson-Marsteller in Chicago.
In addition to his professional roles, Rand is vice chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, where he was also an adjunct faculty in management. Rand also serves on the board of Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center, part of the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing.
“I am very excited to join the extraordinary team at UChicago,” said Rand. “The University is making significant contributions on the global, national and Chicago stages, and I’m looking forward to helping share these inspiring stories.”
Rand holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in business administration and public policy from DePaul University. He is the author of Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Social Media and Word of Mouth Marketing to Build Your Brand and Your Business.