Ellen de Graffenreid head shot

821 5th Avenue
Suite 300
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Ellen de Graffenreid

Vice President of Communications and Marketing

Offices, Departments, or Centers: Communications and Marketing , College Leadership ,

Ellen  leads an outstanding team to showcase the accomplishments of the College’s exceptional students, faculty and staff.  Her favorite thing about working in higher education is the opportunity to learn from top experts across a range of fields and from the students who will be future leaders as she works to tell their stories. She believes that Grinnell is distinctive in its commitment to living its values in large and small ways with a spirit of possibility, a willingness to put in the necessary work, and the utmost confidence that Grinnellians will make a positive difference in the world.

With more than 22 years of experience in higher education and academic medicine, she has led award-winning integrated marketing communications programs that built national and international recognition for the institutions she served. She has provided marketing communications strategies supporting institutional goals for enrollment management, educational innovation, development and alumni relations, research reputation, technology transfer and licensing, public-private partnerships, government relations and clinical services.

Prior to joining Grinnell College, she was Senior Associate Vice President for Academic and Executive Communications at Syracuse University. Her experience includes serving on the founding leadership team for Duke University’s Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy. Other past positions include Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications at the University of Missouri and Senior Vice President for Communications at Brandeis University.  Her career includes leadership of marketing communications for UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and UNC Cancer Care, University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, and the Washington State University Foundation. Her previous career experience was in market research, competitive intelligence and thought leadership communications for technology companies. 

She is an active member and volunteer for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Education and Degrees

BA, History, Indiana University (magna cum laude)

MA, Russian and Soviet History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MBA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School. 

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