Martin Mbugua, who has more than 17 years of experience in journalism and higher education communications, has been named University spokesperson at Princeton.
Mbugua (pronounced BOO-gwah) joined the Office of Communications staff on May 2. He will coordinate outreach to local, national and international news media for coverage of the University, manage media inquiries and advise the campus community on media relations matters, in addition to serving as Princeton's primary spokesperson.
"Martin brings with him deep expertise working in media in this country and abroad," said Director of News and Editorial Services Cass Cliatt. "Building on an accomplished career as a newspaper reporter in Kenya and New York City, he developed a proven track record in higher education for effective strategic communications, cultivating strong relationships and creative problem-solving. Martin's contributions will be a true asset to the University community."
For the past year, Mbugua served as communications and marketing manager for the Murphy Institute at the City University of New York, where he developed and managed a new communications and marketing strategy to support growth in enrollment, identify and reach new target groups, and enhance the national visibility of the institute.
From 2004 to 2010 he held the position of senior news editor for the University of Delaware, where he was a media spokesperson and was part of the news planning and management team for UDaily, an online university news site serving 20,000 students and a large external community. While there, Mbugua received the first-place award in the marketing campaign category of the 2010 Delaware Press Association communications contest for the website of the Delaware Environmental Institute and a related portal designed for students in kindergarten through high school.
Mbugua was a staff writer for the New York Daily News from 1998 to 2004, where he managed crime and New York City Police Department news reporting and covered a wide range of breaking news. While at the Daily News, he was part of a reporting team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news category in recognition of superior first-day reporting of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the events that followed.
He also served as a freelance U.S. correspondent for the Daily Nation and the Standard newspapers in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1994 to 2006, covering news about Kenyans and their diaspora.
Mbugua holds a master of business administration from the University of Delaware and a master of arts in government, politics and international relations from St. John's University, where he also earned a bachelor's of science in journalism.
He succeeds Cliatt, who directed media relations until assuming oversight of the University's daily news operations and the spokesperson position in March 2010, and Emily Aronson, who has been serving as spokesperson until she could assume the newly created position of campus life writer and special projects assistant in the Office of Communications.