MADISON—David F. Giroux, director of public information for the University of Wisconsin-Extension, has been named UW System executive director for communications and external relations. The selection was announced today by UW System President Kevin P. Reilly.
“Dave brings to this position an abundance of experience from the non-profit and for-profit sectors, as well as his UW-Extension work,” said Reilly. “His communications expertise and valuable relationships will help us rejuvenate and strengthen the UW System’s communications and relationship-building efforts. As the UW System moves forward with its Growth Agenda for Wisconsin, Dave will lead a new team of professionals who will interact with a broad range of state elected and appointed officials, statewide news media, the general public, and colleagues at the UW System Administration and the institutions of the UW System. Together, this team will articulate the strategic value of the UW to all residents of the state.”
Giroux has served as UW-Extension’s director of public information since 2000. He previously worked for 13 years in the non-profit and private sectors, including media, public relations and management positions at Alliant Energy Corporation and the American Red Cross. He holds a Master of Science in Family and Consumer Journalism from UW-Madison and Bachelor of Arts in English and Speech Communication from the University of Maine. Giroux is also a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Defense Information School, having served as a National Guard journalist and photographer for nine years.
“I am honored by this opportunity to celebrate and support the students, faculty and staff of the entire UW system, and I’m anxious to bring a unique perspective to the effort,” Giroux said. “If we want to show that our university is relevant, valuable and trustworthy, we must continually demonstrate how we are providing a solid ‘return on investment’ to all Wisconsin taxpayers. They own this place, and they deserve nothing less.”
“Dave has been a successful communicator inside a mix of large organizations — the National Guard, the Red Cross, Alliant Energy and, for the past six years, the university,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council and member of the search committee for this position. “As a journalist and most recently as a member of UW-Extension’s Board of Visitors, I have always found him to be a great listener, a strong and fair communicator, and a person who respects the views of others.”
In his new role, Giroux will also work closely with the Board of Regents, President Reilly, the UW Chancellors, and other senior leadership of the University of Wisconsin, to redefine and revitalize how the University represents itself to the citizens of Wisconsin.
“In my time with UW-Extension, I’ve learned many things, including the importance of listening,” Giroux added. “We can’t just talk about the university’s greatness. We must listen carefully to our clients, stakeholders, and their elected representatives, even when they’re saying things that are difficult to hear.”
“Dave Giroux emerged as the leading candidate in an extremely talented pool of applicants,” said David G. Walsh, president of the Board of Regents. “We all were struck by his high energy and contagious enthusiasm. The Board of Regents looks forward to working with him as he helps to tell the UW’s powerful stories, and strengthen relationships in preparation for a crucial 2007-09 state budget cycle.”
Giroux is slated to begin his new duties on December 1 at a salary of $120,000. He and his wife Anne Morgan Giroux live in Madison with their three daughters.
[For reporters: David Giroux can be reached at his office at UW-Extension (608-262-9871) or by cell phone (608-575-6973). More information is available on the UW System website.]