Christine LaPaille Named Mason’s New Vice President For University Relations

Posted: April 1, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

Christine LaPaille, director of communications at the National Governor’s Association (NGA), has been named George Mason’s new vice president for university relations. LaPaille is expected to begin working at the university in mid-May.

She replaces Helen Ackerman, who formally retires on May 8 following 27 years of service to the university.

LaPaille, a resident of Potomac, Md., has worked at NGA since January 2000. In her capacity as chief communication officer, she works with governors and their top staff to develop and implement external and internal communication strategies to support NGA’s federal legislative priorities and research initiatives. Additionally, she serves as the association’s chief spokesperson and is responsible for generating national, state, and local news coverage of the NGA and its priorities.

“Christine brings a unique combination of experience in government, the corporate world, and higher education to George Mason,” says President Alan Merten. “Her background is well suited to university relations, a unit that encompasses a broad range of critical functions, from media relations to events management, and that is vital to the university’s overall success.”

Prior to joining NGA, LaPaille was president and founder of Agenda Communications, a public affairs firm based in Chicago that specialized in clients that operated in highly regulated, complex arenas. During her 10 years with this company she created an award-winning public affairs program for the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities designed to help educate key audiences, including legislators and the media, about higher education choices represented by the colleges in the federation.

Other highlights of her nearly 25-year career in communications include serving as director of corporate and government relations with Jasculca/Terman and Associates of Chicago, 1987-89; chief of staff to the House minority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, 1986-88; and research/planning desk/field producer with WLS-TV/ABC television.

LaPaille earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Eastern Illinois University (1981) and a master’s degree in public affairs at the University of Illinois (1982).

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