Joel Curran appointed senior vice president and chief communications officer

Curran comes to USC from the University of Notre Dame, where he worked as their vice president of public affairs and communications. (Barbara Johnston | University of Notre Dame)

Joel Curran will be the University’s next senior vice president and chief communications officer, President Carol Folt announced in an email Wednesday afternoon. He will replace Acting Senior Vice President of Communications Beth Shuster, who took the role when Kyle Henley left the University in April. Curran’s time at USC will begin on July 10.

Curran previously served as the first vice chancellor of communications at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. After UNC Chapel Hill, Curran worked at the University of Notre Dame as vice president of public affairs and communications, during which he led a large study to rework the university’s messaging and better its communications as a whole.

Folt praised Curran and his accomplishments in her announcement, calling him “a nationally respected higher education communications innovator.”

“This unique toolkit equips him well to lead our talented team and connect with USC’s key audiences across an evolving communications landscape,” Folt wrote.

Curran also worked in the leaderships of many public relations firms such as Cramer-Krasselt and MSL Group, a global communications network. He was the first Walt Disney World publicist to be hired directly out of college, due to his work with the company as an undergraduate. He has worked with the company in multiple facets and locations, including assuming a large role in their acquisition of the California Angels — now the Los Angeles Angels — in 1996.

Folt thanked Shuster for her time in the role and expressed her excitement for the future of USC’s communications under Curran.

“USC’s communications and events teams are high-performing units that work in unison to tell compelling stories and create memorable experiences for our internal and external audiences,.” Folt wrote. “I know once Joel is on board, he will continue to rely on Beth’s leadership and advice as she returns to her role as vice president, content strategy and chief of staff, university communications.”