Princeton University vice president for communications and public affairs accepts job at University of California

Brent Colburn

Brent Colburn, the vice president for communications and public affairs at Princeton University, has been appointed as the next senior vice president of external relations and communications for the office of the president at the University of California. The UC Board of Regents approved the appointment on Wednesday, June 23.

As senior vice president, Colburn’s portfolio will include all university-wide internal and external communications and outreach, state and federal governmental relations, advancement and alumni relations.

At Princeton University, Colburn oversees communications, government relations and community affairs. He also serves as a member of the university’s cabinet, working with the board of trustees, the president, and senior leaders to manage the institution’s affairs and to implement strategic initiatives. 

Colburn previously worked in the Obama administration, where he served as the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, and director of external affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He was the national communications director for President Obama’s successful re-election, and has served in roles at the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and as communications director for Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow’s 2006 re-election campaign. He also worked as Stabenow’s deputy chief of staff.

Before joining Princeton, he was the vice president of communications at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in Redwood City, Calif., which was created by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Colburn’s annual base salary will be $415,000 with a 20 percent signing bonus.