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Announcing Swarthmore's Next Vice President for Communication

February 21, 2019

Dear Members of the Swarthmore Community,

I’m delighted to share the news that Andy Hirsch will join Swarthmore College as Vice President for Communications on July 1. Andy has more than 17 years of communications experience, including the past eight years at Bucknell University; he was selected after a national search that yielded a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates.

Andy joined Bucknell in 2011 as director of media communications and, since 2014, has served as chief communications officer. In that role, he leads Bucknell’s editorial, photography, videography, graphic design, media relations, and print production efforts, website and social media channels, crisis communications, and mail services. Prior to his arrival at Bucknell, he worked as an Associated Press and Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist for several network affiliates, including in Columbus, Ohio, and Scranton, Pa. Andy earned a B.S. in both broadcast journalism and speech communication from Syracuse University.

In his role as vice president at Swarthmore, Andy will oversee all aspects of the Communications Office, including admissions communications, advancement communications, web and digital communications, media relations, and the Bulletin. He will also create and implement an overarching strategic communications plan for Swarthmore that elevates awareness and understanding of the College and supports its mission, goals, and objectives; cultivate strong working relationships with  faculty, students, alumni, community partners; ensure the College’s preparedness for effective crisis communications; and lead a talented and experienced communications staff.

Andy brings valuable experience and knowledge to this critical role. I look forward to working with him, and I know that his expertise and insights will serve the College well. Community members who met with him noted his deep interest in the liberal arts and desire to immerse himself in the culture of the College.   

I would like to thank Alisa Giardinelli for serving as interim vice president for communications during this academic year. I also thank the following individuals for their service as members of the selection committee: Joel Cooper, chief information technology officer, Chelsea Hicks ’14, special assistant for presidential initiatives, Brandon Hodnett, director of athletics communications, Cindi Leive ’88, member of the Board of Managers, Jen Moore, administrative assistant in history, and Stephen O'Connell, chair and Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Economics. I hope you will all join me in welcoming Andy when he arrives on campus this summer.


Valerie Smith