Appointment of Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Communications

January 30, 2017

Dear Members of our Campus Community,

I write regarding the appointment of our next Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Communications.

As you may recall, John Longbrake served in this role from 2012 to 2015, when he took the position of Vice President for Communications at the University of Chicago. Since his departure, we have been conducting a national search for his successor. Throughout this search process, our challenge has been to find a talent to match John’s level of expertise. His collaborative leadership was our benchmark. So it is with great pleasure that I announce our committee’s unanimous recommendation to invite John Longbrake back as our next Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Communications. I am also pleased to announce that John has enthusiastically accepted our invitation and will return to our campus to assume this important responsibility, effective July 1, 2017.

At the University of Chicago, John has overseen the Office of University Communications, with responsibility for leading the development of strategic communications in support of academic programs, university initiatives, and institutional priorities. Working with senior leadership and members of the faculty, John has been responsible for directing the communications strategy, planning, and programming to communicate the character and visual identity of the University of Chicago. He has been managing UChicago’s licensing program, Visitor Services, and UChicago Creative, the in-house creative services group that creates campaigns across all media, including print, digital, and video.

Prior to first joining our campus community in September 2012, John was the Assistant Vice President for Communications at Harvard University, where he worked closely with three Harvard presidents as well as senior administrators, faculty, alumni, students, and staff on multiple facets of Harvard’s communications, marketing, media relations, and digital presence, including social media. Previously he was the Assistant Director of Public Affairs and Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at Yale University. Before joining Yale, he worked in Washington, D.C., for eight years in various communications and public policy roles, including at the U.S. Treasury Department, where, among other responsibilities, he served as spokesperson for then-Under Secretary for International Affairs Timothy Geithner. John also served as Vice President for Communications and Congressional Affairs for the National Quality Forum, as Public Affairs Coordinator and Research Analyst for the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, and as Research Analyst for the U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment.

During his time on our campus, John worked collaboratively and effectively with all of our community members in order to strengthen our communications and advance our university’s reputation. We are excited to once again be able to draw on his talent, creativity, and expertise to share the UC Santa Barbara story with a global audience.

I would like to sincerely thank Dean Rod Alferness, chair of our search advisory committee, and our committee members, listed below. I also would like to thank our Academic Senate, administrative colleagues, and other members of our campus community who provided important consultation, input, and advice throughout this search process, as well as our staff colleagues in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications for their dedicated work during this transitional period.

Please join me in warmly welcoming John and his family back to our UC Santa Barbara community.

Henry T. Yang



Search Advisory Committee for Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Communications

Rod Alferness, Chair; Richard A. Auhll Professor; Dean, College of Engineering
Michael Brown, Dean, University Extension; Professor, Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology
Mathew Burciaga, Associated Students representative; 2015-16 Editor, The Bottom Line
Marcy Carsey, UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees
Beverly Colgate, Associate Vice Chancellor, Development
Steven Gaines, Dean, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
María Herrera-Sobek, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Academic Policy; Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies
Timothy Irvine, Graduate Student Association representative
Sally MacIntyre, Professor, Marine Science Institute and Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
John Majewski, Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts; Professor, History
Louis Mariano, Associated Students representative
Meredith Murr, Director, Research Development
Karen Myers, Associate Professor, Communication
Emile Nelson, Associated Students representative; 2015-16 Editor-in-Chief, Daily Nexus
Melvin Oliver, Executive Dean, College of Letters and Science, and SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences (through June 2016)
Rachyl Pines, Graduate Student Association representative
Lisa Przekop, Director, Admissions Leila Rupp, Interim Dean, Social Sciences; Professor, Feminist Studies
Ambuj Singh, Professor, Computer Science
George Thurlow, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Alumni Affairs
Marie Williams, UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees
Pierre Wiltzius, Executive Dean, College of Letters and Science, and Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Sciences; Professor, Physics
Kim Yasuda, Professor, Art

Ex officio:
Ricardo Alcaíno, Director, Equal Opportunity and Discrimination Prevention