Chris Sigurdson currently serves as vice president for University of Arizona Communications. Sigurdson helps to manage the external and internal communication activities, including media relations and issue management. He has worked for four universities, all AAU members and three of which are land-grant universities, placing them in the highest array of global higher education institutions.
In his previous assignment as assistant vice president for external relations at Purdue University, Sigurdson led 12 professionals and staff who were engaged in news, media relations, and issue management, with additional responsibilities for the public radio station and community relations. Prior to accepting the assistant vice president position, he was department head of Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Communication, where he led 41 professionals and staff in news, media relations, and marketing. Before joining Purdue as a news writer in 1991, he was a television reporter, a writer and video producer for Texas A&M University, and a video producer for the University of Texas Medical Branch.
His expertise includes public relations, issue management, and risk communication. Sigurdson has won national awards for news writing, television features, and public information campaigns. He served on two national committees to promote university research and education activities and is a co-author on a train-the-trainer guide, “Media Relations Made Easy,” which has been used by numerous land-grant universities, an association of historically black universities, and an agency of Homeland Security.
Sigurdson also has worked with federal agency administrators, industry leaders, and large conferences to help enhance their public relations efforts. Recent presentations include “A Beginner’s Guide to Animal Activists,” “How to Turn a Crisis into a Fiasco”, and a public relations primer for entrepreneurs.
Sigurdson has a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in agricultural and extension education from Purdue University.