Lesley Yorke has been named senior advisor for strategic initiatives for University Relations at Virginia Tech.

In her role, Yorke will lead strategic messaging efforts in support of the priorities of the Advancement Division and the president. She will implement communications strategies to connect the stories of Virginia Tech priorities and accomplishments to internal and external audiences. Yorke will work closely with advancement colleagues to foster a performance-based culture of excellence and program innovation.

Yorke comes to Virginia Tech from Cornell University where she was a public affairs officer with expertise in strategic messaging, brand enhancement, large-scale project administration, and events management. She led communications planning for Cornell’s yearlong celebration of its sesquicentennial, including the capstone events of Charter Day Weekend, a four-day, 40-event celebration of Cornell’s 150-year impact. She produced "Illuminating Images of Science," an exploration of science imaging from nanoscale to the outer reaches of space.

Yorke is a certified by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She served as board president for the Light in Winter Festival, an annual festival of science and the arts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Temple University and a master’s degree from the Yale Divinity School.

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