Brett Ludwig Named Lehigh’s New Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs

Ludwig, the current chief communications officer and head of global communications at W.L. Gore & Associates, joins Lehigh August 15.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

Brett Ludwig

Brett Ludwig

Following a comprehensive national search, Brett Ludwig, the current chief communications officer and head of global communications at W.L. Gore & Associates, has been named Lehigh’s next vice president for communications and public affairs, officially beginning his tenure August 15.

Assistant Vice President Ira Rubien has served as interim vice president following the September retirement of Fred McGrail, who served 13 years in the role.

Ludwig brings to Lehigh extensive experience in the areas of global communications, brand identity, narrative development, government relations and public relations. At Gore, he co-led the enterprise pandemic response taskforce and led the strategy to successfully redefine and launch the updated Gore corporate brand as a global materials science company. Before Gore, he led the global communications team at Cardinal Health as the vice president of global communications, executing a thought leadership program and sharing the company’s story. 

“Brett is a thoughtful leader with demonstrated experience leading communications teams and crafting compelling communications strategies,” said President Joseph J. Helble ’82. “As we embark on Lehigh’s first comprehensive strategic planning process in more than a decade and continue to greet the challenges and opportunities ahead of us as a community, we will benefit from Brett’s nimble leadership to inspire, as well as to shape and tell Lehigh’s story.” 

Earlier in his career, Ludwig served in a variety of communications roles within global companies in the insurance, healthcare, and materials science industries. After serving as a features and hard news reporter, he joined the corporate relations team at Allstate Insurance Company, where he was responsible for managing the executive positioning plan for the senior leadership team, leading a regional integrated communications team and serving as external spokesperson during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He went on to lead the external communications and the corporate crisis management program for Tyco International before serving as vice president of communications at AmerisourceBergen, where he led all aspects of global communications and designed and built a corporate communications team to drive reputation leadership and employee engagement globally. 

Ludwig’s selection followed a comprehensive and competitive process. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Ricardo Hall said: “Throughout the search process, Brett’s extensive knowledge and experience were matched only by his energy and enthusiasm. He demonstrated a clear command of higher education's broad and specific challenges. More importantly, he articulated his initial thoughts on communications and public affairs strategy, and that office's central role in sharing our ever-evolving story with an ever-expanding audience. I look forward to working alongside Brett and providing support and partnership as he takes on this key university leadership role.” 

Hall continued: “I also am sincerely grateful for the work of the Search Advisory Committee and the members' clear commitment to Lehigh and their willingness to be selfless in sharing their time and energy so that we all might benefit from their diverse campus experiences and perspectives.” 

Ludwig said: “I am honored and excited to join Lehigh at this important time in the University’s journey. I believe the role of higher education has never been more vital to the health of our society, and I look forward to working with the dedicated, passionate team at Lehigh to build on the university’s deep legacy of research and education. I thank the Search Advisory Committee and President Helble for the opportunity to apply my leadership and experience to support the students, faculty and staff.”

For more than a decade, Ludwig has served as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in political science with a Spanish minor and is a graduate of the Executive Program on Strategic Reputation Management at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business. He also is a Trustee of the Institute for Public Relations and is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Story by

Carina Sitkus