Vice-President, External Relations

Deb Comuzzi

Deb Comuzzi

Prior to joining Lakehead University, Deb held the position of President and CEO at The Children’s Health Foundation in London, Ontario. 

A strategist and passionate advocate for young people, Deb will complete her first five-year term as Vice-President, External Relations in August 2017.

She was born and raised in Thunder Bay and returned to her hometown with more than 40 years of graduated senior management experience at major Canadian not-for-profit organizations.

She has held positions as National Executive Director of The Sunshine Foundation of Canada and Director – Planning, Development and Field Operations with the Canadian Cancer Society as well as Health Planner at the Metro Toronto District Health Council and Manager, Safety Services with the Canadian Red Cross.

Deb holds a BA in English and Psychology from Western University. In 2010, Western’s King’s University College honoured her with an Award of Distinction. She also holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor.

Deb has created a dynamic team to form the first-ever External Relations portfolio for Lakehead University. She is eager to continue External Relations’ growth within all five pillars of the University’s Strategic Plan to further Lakehead’s priorities.  

Learn more about Deb Comuzzi


Position Overview

The Vice-President External Relations reports to the President and is a member of Lakehead University’s executive leadership team. The Vice-President is responsible for the senior administration and management of the External Relations portfolio.

The position holds primary responsibility for leading the creation and execution of the strategic priorities in the five pillars that embody the External Relations portfolio:

  1. Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement
  2. Donor Events
  3. Government Relations
  4. Marketing, Branding and Web Development
  5. Philanthropy
    • Annual Fund
    • Legacy Gifts
    • Major Gifts

The External Relations portfolio is strongly connected to both the internal and external communities promoting positive and responsive relationships in the overall positioning of the University within its many audiences world-wide. The Vice-President leads the development and implementation of current and future philanthropic activities and will ready the university to enter into an institutional campaign.

Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement

There are 60,000 and counting alumni around the world. Working in partnership with the Alumni Association, we create and deliver programs, services and communications to engage alumni, encouraging life long relationships between them and Lakehead University.

Donor Events

With over 50 events planned a year, they are a combination of convocation, donor and ceremonial events that promote the university excellence to internal and external stakeholders and will range depending on the event, from private gatherings to events of over 1,000 people.

Government Relations

Working primarily with the President and the Executive Team, the Director is responsible for strategically promoting the relevance of academia, research and innovation and capital projects and special initiatives with all levels of government.

Philanthropy

The Philanthropy Department is responsible for Annual Fund, Legacy gifts and Major Gifts at Lakehead University. Working with donors, prospective donors and alumni to help them make the right gift to satisfy their philanthropic goals while supporting both university-wide and faculty based priorities.

Marketing, Branding and Web Development

Marketing, Branding and Web Development exists to promote, enhance and protect the University’s brand. We strive to achieve this by an integrated approach to collaborating with partners across our two campuses and a roster of external agencies and vendors to provide professional recommendations and guidance on adherence to Lakehead University’s brand standards and brand framework.

External Relations Portfolio

The External Relations portfolio is strongly connected to both the internal and external communities promoting positive and responsive relationships in the overall positioning of the University within it's many audiences world-wide. The Vice-President leads the development and implementation of current and future philanthropic activities and will ready the university to enter into an institutional campaign.

 

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