David W. Martel is the Vice President for Communications and Chief Marketing Officer of the University of Virginia. Appointed in August 2013, he is responsible for the leadership of University Communications, which stewards institutional marketing, brand narration, visual identity, university news and media outreach, social media, multimedia, and public relations. Martel is a member of the President’s Cabinet and serves as a key leader in managing how the University positions itself among its diverse audiences. As the chief communicator on Grounds, he leads a broad effort to generate widespread understanding, engagement and support for the advancement of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a forward-thinking global university committed to educating citizen leaders, the value of higher education in America, and the impact of university teaching, research and service.
During his time at the University of Virginia, Martel has led a reorganization of the University Communications unit and has spearheaded the establishment of a five-year strategic communications plan while restructuring the institution’s approach to reputation management. In addition to overseeing the successful implementation of a progressive brand platform, Martel has led communications efforts supporting the renovation of the University’s iconic Rotunda, the implementation of Affordable Excellence – the University’s commitment to making its world-class education affordable – and the establishment of the Blue Ridge Scholarships. Further, Martel has overseen a strategic approach to student and faculty recruitment communications, the redesign of the institution’s core web properties, and the establishment of a University-wide communications community network. Martel serves as an executive mentor in the Center for Leadership Excellence, has been a featured speaker in the Distinguished Faculty Speaker Series, and was appointed to the Miller Center Governing Council and the Curry School of Education Foundation Board in 2014.
Martel previously served on the senior management team for the University of Connecticut and was charged with raising UCONN’s national profile, public relations management of NCAA sanctions, chairing rebranding efforts, and leading communications efforts for a multi-billion dollar legislative S.T.E.M. proposal. Prior to his work at UCONN, he worked as the Senior Assistant Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. His extensive work analyzing the mind and mood of the American public on cultural, economic and political issues laid the foundation for a reliance on research assessment to measure the overall success of the department he leads today. David is married to Kristen Martel, and they have five children.