Stony Brook University snags Ketchum media network lead Scibetta

His role as VP of communications is new at the university.

STONY BROOK, NY: Stony Brook University has appointed Ketchum veteran Nicholas Scibetta as VP of communications, a newly created position.

Scibetta will step into the role on January 26 and report to Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley. The number of people he will oversee is "yet to be ironed out," he told PRWeek.

Elaine Crosson, who has served as Stony Brook’s VP of external relations since 2011, previously handled the responsibilities Scibetta is taking on. Crosson, whose new title is VP for government relations, will now focus solely on federal and state governmental relations and building the university’s relationship with the community, said Stony Brook media relations officer Lauren Sheprow.

Working closely with Stony Brook’s other VPs and deans, Scibetta will serve as a member of the university council leadership team. He will be responsible for the university’s overarching communications, brand strategy, and visual identity.

"My main focus is looking at building on what is already an incredibly talented team across the university as Stony Brook continues to enhance and build its brand globally," Scibetta said.

He is tasked with setting the vision and direction for the organization’s communications function, overseeing and managing strategic communications, media relations, marketing, publications, and social media.

Scibetta will also coordinate with marketing and communications resources across the university, such as Stony Brook Medicine, to build and enhance its brand, Stony Brook said in a release.

Scibetta will join Stony Brook from Ketchum, where he has served in various roles since 1999, most recently as partner and director of the firm’s global media network. He oversaw national and international comms programs and provided senior strategic and global media planning counsel and placement for Fortune 500 clients, according to Stony Brook’s statement.

Friday will be his last day at Ketchum.

At this time Ketchum has no plans to replace his role, said Alicia Stetzer, senior corporate communications manager at the firm. The agency recently brought on Lori Beecher as EVP of media and content strategy, with plans for more hires in the coming weeks.

Scibetta’s move follows a string of departures from Ketchum. Most recently, Rafi Mendelsohn left his role as head of the Speaker Bureau service to join supermarket shopping and comparison website mySupermarket as head of PR and marketing. AJ Goodman, SVP and director of media relations, joined Edelman in September as SVP of media in the New York office; that same month Peggy Walsh, the firm’s SVP and director of finance and operations, joined Ruder Finn as global CFO.

Last summer Ketchum partner and West Coast brand leader Deanne Yamamoto also left after more than 16 years at the firm to join Golin as Los Angeles MD.

Prior to Ketchum, Scibetta served as VP at Rubenstein Public Relations and senior publicist at St. Martin’s Press, according to his LinkedIn profile.

This story was updated at 4:35pm ET with comment from Ketchum.

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