After a national search, Farnaz Khadem—a communications leader with two decades of experience in higher education, journalism, private industry, and the public sector—has been appointed Chief Communications Officer at Caltech.
Her appointment is effective January 11, 2016.
Khadem will lead the development of strategic communications in support of research programs as well as Institute initiatives and priorities. This will include collaboration on communications across campus and direct oversight of the Office of Strategic Communications. She will serve also as the Institute's spokesperson and primary advisor on communications matters and opportunities.
Khadem has served for the last five years as the director of communications at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a Department of Energy national laboratory operated by Stanford University. At SLAC, she developed and implemented a strategic communications plan and was responsible for managing the laboratory's entire communications structure, including news and media relations, digital communications, emergency communications, and social media.
"Farnaz emerged from the search as a remarkably good fit for Caltech and the candidate best able to further develop Caltech's communication capabilities," says Diana Jergovic, vice president for strategy implementation at Caltech. "She will guide us well in this increasingly vital role as we seek to use communications ever more effectively to engage and inspire communities of supporters locally, nationally, and globally."
"It's a privilege to join Caltech, a renowned research and educational institution. With a distinguished history of transformative discoveries, Caltech has had a lasting influence on a broad range of scientific and technical fields," says Khadem. "I look forward to working with everyone at the Institute to tell the story of how that innovation continues to have an impact on society and on all of us."
Prior to joining SLAC, Khadem held communications leadership positions at the University of California, Irvine; the World Anti-doping Agency; the Vaccine Fund; and Eli Lilly and Company. She worked for the U.S. Foreign Service Diplomatic Corps, with posts in Israel, Italy, and Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.