The Ohio State University announced today that Elizabeth Parkinson will serve in the newly created position of senior vice president for marketing and communications, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.
A leading figure in strategic communications and brand marketing, Parkinson brings more than 25 years of experience in higher education, professional sports, consumer products, business services, nonprofit organizations and government. She will consolidate Ohio State’s marketing and communications efforts into one unit responsible for overall brand, marketing and communications strategy and implementation. Parkinson will lead an integrated team of strategic marketing and communications leaders focused on centralized centers of expertise, as well as college and unit-based professionals who support the distinct needs of their organizations in building brand strategies, enhancing community connections and engagement, and inspiring more students and families to seek Ohio State as a destination for excellence in education.
She will be a member of the university’s President’s Cabinet and serve as a key adviser to Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson, PhD.
“Elizabeth is a highly respected professional in her field with the level of expertise and experience that is critical to engaging and building meaningful relationships with the incredibly diverse set of communities we serve,” President Johnson said. “We are delighted to welcome Elizabeth to the Buckeye family and look forward to our work together.”
Parkinson will come to Ohio State following a five-year tenure as assistant vice president for marketing communications at the University of Michigan, where she is responsible for the overall marketing and brand strategy for the university with direct oversight of creative, photography and video, digital media and brand management. She has played an integral role in leading the campus’s COVID-19 communications effort, including several initiatives to promote safety measures, testing, shared responsibility and more.
“I feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Johnson and the team at Ohio State,” Parkinson said. “I am excited to be joining during this transformative time and look forward to advancing the reputation and visibility of this extraordinary institution.”
Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Parkinson served as senior vice president of marketing and partnerships for the Detroit Lions, where she led a 30-person team. Her areas of oversight included marketing, partnerships, broadcast, digital, corporate communications, merchandise, game-day experience, community relations and youth education management. She previously served as the senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth.
She also led marketing and public relations for Ann Arbor SPARK, the economic development agency for the Ann Arbor region, and worked for 10 years at the public relations agency Edelman, ultimately serving as general manager and executive vice president of the creative solutions group. At Edelman, she developed, coordinated and executed creative campaigns for multinational clients, including Microsoft, Kraft, Abbott, Pfizer, the Mexico Ministry of Tourism, the Illinois Board of Tourism and numerous others.
Parkinson received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and accounting from Alma College, where she also served on the Board of Trustees.
Additional board experience includes the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Economic Development Foundation, Michigan Travel Commission, Washtenaw Economic Development Council and the Arts Alliance.
Parkinson begins her role at Ohio State on March 22.
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