News from
Office of Communications
Stanhope Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-5748

June 15, 2000

Princeton University Appoints Communications Director

Lauren Robinson-Brown moves from New Jersey Department of State

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Lauren Robinson-Brown, a former award-winning journalist and communications director for the New Jersey Department of State and now that agency's second-ranking official, has been appointed Princeton University's director of communications, effective mid-August. She succeeds Justin Harmon, who left earlier this spring to accept a position at Wesleyan University.

A member of the Princeton Class of 1985, Robinson-Brown majored in English, earned a certificate in Afro-American Studies, had leadership roles in the Organization of Black Unity and the Black Thoughts Table, and was a senior editor of The Vigil and a disc jockey for WPRB. After earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and working for a Newark, N.J.-based cable company, she began an award-winning career as a newspaper reporter, working first at the Newark Star-Ledger, then at the Dallas Times-Herald, and then at the Boston Globe. She also wrote freelance articles for local and national publications, including journalism and educational monthlies and Black Enterprise Magazine in New York.

In March 1993 she was named executive director and press secretary for the Boston school board. In December 1994 she returned to her native New Jersey as director of communications for the Department of State, serving as press secretary for the department, overseeing its internal and external communications, and managing its communications staff. Six months later she was promoted to assistant commissioner and in January 1998 she was again promoted, this time to assistant secretary of state. In this capacity she is the department's second-ranking official and manages its daily operations, with particular emphasis on communications and strategic projects.

"Lauren brings experience, insight, and a stellar record of accomplishment in all of the areas for which our director of communications is responsible -- press relations, internal and external communications, and publications -- and she brings both a deep understanding of and an attachment to Princeton," said Robert K. Durkee, vice president for public affairs, who announced the appointment. "She was the overwhelming first choice among those who helped interview our candidates, and we are delighted to be able to welcome her back to campus."

Durkee also announced the appointment of Yvonne Chiu Hays to succeed Caroline Moseley, who will retire this summer as principal staff writer for the Princeton Weekly Bulletin and editor of Princeton Parents News. Hays will assume these duties while also writing news releases and other materials, including materials for the web. A 1995 graduate of Dartmouth College, Hays served as editor-in-chief and chairman of the Dartmouth daily student newspaper. After internships at several leading newspapers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, she worked for the last four years at the Sacramento Bee. She also has been an officer of the Asian-American Journalists Association in Sacramento, where she was a mentor to high school students interested in journalism careers.