New interim senior vice president of External Relations and Communications appointed to UC

University of California President, Michael V. Drake, M.D., has announced the selection of Meredith Vivian Turner as the interim senior vice president of External Relations and Communications at the UC Office of the President. The appointment was approved by the UC Board of Regents on May 16, 2024, and is effective as of May 17, 2024.

Turner will be taking over from Michael Reese, whose interim tenure as senior vice president ends on June 30. She was chosen after a competitive national recruitment process and will serve in the position on an interim basis for a year or until a permanent senior vice president is appointed.

With a background in government relations and communications, Turner has a strong understanding of the public higher education landscape and a deep connection to the University of California. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, where she also served as president of the alumni board, Turner has been in various roles at the UC Office of the President since 2016. She has previously advocated for public higher education in California and has experience working in roles at the California State University system and the California State Senate.

President Drake expressed his confidence in Turner, stating, “Meredith brings deep experience and expertise to this role. She has forged strong relationships with and has earned support from our Regents, chancellors, legislators, and key UC advocates.” Turner’s responsibilities will include overseeing all University-wide internal and external communications, outreach, governmental relations, and advancement and alumni relations in support of UC’s mission of education, research, and public service.

Prior to her current role, Turner served as the chief of staff of External Relations and Communications at the Office of the President, where she played a key role in driving divisional communications and governmental relations priorities. She has also worked on enhancing the university’s relationships with state policymakers and transforming advocacy programs.

Looking forward to her new role, Turner stated, “I know first-hand the transformative power of a UC education, and I look forward to working with a talented team and UC advocates on elevating the University’s positive impact on California communities.”

Turner, a recipient of several awards for her advocacy work, holds a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California. Her annual salary as senior vice president will be 5,000. She currently resides in Sacramento with her husband and son.