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San Francisco CA 94118
Serving UCSF since 2005, Barbara J. French was appointed Vice Chancellor, Strategic Communications & University Relations in May 2010.
As head of Strategic Communications & University Relations, French is charged with developing and implementing communications programs to champion the University’s mission. She serves as lead counsel to the chancellor and UCSF’s executive team on issues related to communications, government affairs and community relations. She also advises the Marketing Committee and the Government Relations Committee of the UCSF Foundation Board of Directors.
French oversees the departments of Public Relations and Digital Communications, which are responsible for communicating news and information about UCSF, the UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to internal and external audiences through the media and digital platforms. In addition, she oversees Community and Governmental Relations, which fosters relationships with neighbors, community groups and government officials.
Since joining UCSF, French has worked to increase the visibility of UCSF. She spearheaded the campaign that developed UCSF’s tag line—advancing health worldwide—and manages strategic communications for the development of UCSF’s new women’s, children’s and cancer hospital complex at Mission Bay. In addition, she launched a university-community planning process to ensure that UCSF’s growth in neighborhoods adjacent to the Mission Bay campus is compatible with the community’s vision of the future and partnered with the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to win approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to locate a helipad at the new Mission Bay hospital site.
In addition, French has served on several Chancellor-appointed committees, including: Data Security Task Force, Katrina Task Force, Mission Bay Coordinating Committee, Strategic Planning Design Team, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability. She also is a member of the chancellor’s Executive Committee.
French brings a wealth of related work experience to UCSF, having worked in the field of communications throughout her adult life. Before joining UCSF, she ran her own San Francisco-based communications consulting firm for eight years and previously served in a senior management role at an independent public affairs firm also based in the city. Earlier, French was a newspaper editor and reporter, covering politics and then business. She worked at the San Jose Mercury News, Hartford Courant and San Francisco Examiner.
French is on the Board of Directors of Jewish Vocational Services and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and previously served on the board of the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), Project Open Hand and the LGBT Community Center.