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McGrail named vice president for communications

Frederick J. McGrail

Frederick J. McGrail has been named Lehigh University’s vice president for communications effective July 28. McGrail is currently director of communications and public relations at Northeastern University.

"Fred will be a great addition to the university’s senior leadership team," said President Alice P. Gast. "He brings a strategic approach to communications and broad insights about higher education. He has had a very successful record as a leader in the field of communications and marketing. I look forward to working with him."

In his new role, McGrail will serve as the University's senior communications officer, responsible for leading the university’s efforts in developing integrated communications that will advance the university's reputation, key initiatives, and core academic mission.

"In meeting with President Gast, the search committee and others in the Lehigh community, I have been tremendously impressed by their energy, passion, and commitment to the university and its mission," McGrail said. "I am excited about leading the effort to showcase the outstanding work of Lehigh faculty and students and build upon the university's already strong reputation."

At Northeastern, he developed and executed a marketing and communications strategy that enhanced the university’s national reputation and provided greater visibility to the university’s academic achievements. McGrail led initiatives to highlight Northeastern's leadership in experiential education and to enhance its reputation as a research university. He also oversaw improvements in Northeastern's internal and online communications.

In addition to his experience at Northeastern, McGrail has also worked at a Boston-based communications agency as well as at large corporations, including CVS/Caremark, Inc. where he led corporate communications for 13 years.

"This is an important role for Lehigh University, and it was critical that we find the right person for it," said Joseph Sterrett, Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics, who chaired the search committee. "It was vital that we spent the time necessary to find a person that was a great fit for the position and a great fit for Lehigh. We believe we found that in Fred McGrail."

"I am very appreciative of the hard work of the search committee, chaired by Joseph Sterrett," said Gast. "Their counsel was invaluable throughout this entire process."

McGrail and his wife, Rosalind, are the parents of two daughters, Lindy and Kate. He is a graduate of Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, where he earned a bachelor of arts in English literature. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations.

--Tom Durso

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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