ECU fills communications leadership positions

East Carolina University has announced the appointment of Jeannine Manning Hutson as chief communications officer and director of University Communications effective April 16.

ECU has also named Rob Spahr as director of communications for ECU Health Sciences.

Jeannine Manning Hutson

Jeannine Manning Hutson (Photo by Jay Clark)

In her role, Hutson will serve as ECU’s chief communications strategist, advising Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson and university leadership on matters related to public relations and messaging, and serving as the communications liaison with the UNC System Office. She will also lead ECU’s communications, marketing and public affairs efforts by providing direction and overseeing operations.

Hutson had been serving as interim chief since April 2019. A native of Martin County, Hutson has worked in a variety of roles since coming to ECU in 1995, including as a communications specialist in health sciences, public relations manager and director of ECU News Services. A 1990 graduate of Meredith College, Hutson had writing and editing duties at The Reidsville Review and The News and Record of Greensboro before coming to ECU.

“Jeannine brings to the position valuable institutional knowledge, a record of servant leadership, demonstrated excellence, and a deep commitment to the university, to the mission and to the region,” Mitchelson said.

Rob Spahr

Rob Spahr (Photo by Rhett Butler)

In his new role as director of communications for ECU Health Sciences, Spahr will be responsible for the overall public relations, media relations, and external and internal communications for the Division of Health Sciences. He will supervise university communications positions dedicated to the Brody School of Medicine, College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Nursing and School of Dental Medicine. He will also work closely with Vice Chancellor Dr. Mark Stacy and deans within the division to develop strategic clinical and academic communications plans. Spahr will also be a part of the University Communications leadership team.

Hutson said of Spahr’s appointment, “During his relatively short time at ECU, Rob has made a tremendous impact on the responses to media requests for health sciences and covering research news from the Brody School of Medicine. I know he will continue to serve the Division of Health Sciences well through his dedication to its mission of service to the region.”

Spahr has been a communications specialist for ECU Health Sciences since January 2018. Prior to arriving at ECU, Spahr worked for nearly 15 years in the newspaper industry in various roles, including five years as a supervising reporter for NJ Advance Media and The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. He is a 2005 graduate of Stockton University.