UC Berkeley News


A new leader named for university communications
Holmes to play key role in advising chancellor, campus leaders

| 30 April 2008

Claire Holmes, a senior Bay Area executive in national media and public relations, joins the Berkeley campus on Thursday, May 1, as its associate vice chancellor for university communications.

Claire Holmes (Peg Skorpinski photo)

Holmes, 48, will serve as the lead communications adviser to the chancellor, vice chancellors, and deans of schools and colleges. She will lead a team of professionals working in media relations, Web and campus communications (including the Berkeleyan), design, visitor and parent services, executive communications, and strategic communications.

Holmes comes to Berkeley after a 10-year career at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Most recently she held the position there of vice president for national media, public relations, and stakeholder management. In that post she supported the CEO and executive leadership with external communications, led a team managing corporate and media communications, and advised on crisis management.

“Her record of professional achievement makes Claire Holmes an ideal fit to lead Berkeley’s communications program,” says Scott Biddy, vice chancellor for university relations. “She brings energy and enthusiasm to our efforts to support the campus’s mission of excellence and access, and I am delighted to welcome Claire to Berkeley.”

Says Holmes: “It’s truly an honor to be part of the nation’s foremost public university and have the opportunity to help enhance the acclaim and public recognition it truly deserves. As a Bay Area native, it’s very rewarding to be part of something so important to this region.”

Holmes served as Kaiser Permanente’s vice president for national corporate communications from 2003-06. In that role she developed numerous national communications projects to support programs and initiatives in areas such as brand strategy, quality, and marketing.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Holmes was a private communications and organizational-development consultant in San Francisco from 1994-97. Among a wide range of clients was Stanford University’s law school. She also designed and implemented a public- relations program for Stanford alumni activities.

In the mid-1980s, Holmes founded her own computer-systems consulting firm, CS Resource Group, growing it from a home-based business to a $5 million organization with offices in California and Atlanta. Prior to that she was a senior consultant for Kearns & West Public Relations in San Francisco.

Holmes is a graduate of San Francisco State University.

As associate vice chancellor, Holmes will earn an annual base salary of $230,000. Additional details about her compensation are posted at the UC Regents’ website on salaries and compensation, www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/compensation/salaryactions.html.

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