Paul M. Rand

Vice President for Communications

Michele Rasmussen

5801 S. Ellis Avenue, 123
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773.702.0689

Executive Assistant:
Denyse Jeter

Paul M. Rand joined the University of Chicago as Vice President for Communications in August 2017. He leads the development of strategic and digital communications in support of academic programs, University initiatives and institutional priorities. He collaborates with units across the University to support the momentum of the University’s research and teaching initiatives around the world, support and strengthen engagement with the University of Chicago community, and build upon the institution’s reputation as an intellectual destination. Rand has direct oversight of the Office of Communications and UChicago Creative, and supporting oversight of communications at Argonne National Laboratory, Femi National Laboratory and UChicago Medicine.

Before joining the University, Rand was Chairman at Critical Mass/Zócalo (a division of Omnicom Group).  He founded and led two successful agencies: Corporate Technology Communications, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations firms, and Zócalo Group, a full-service digital and social media agency. Both agencies were acquired by Omnicom Group.  Based in Chicago, Zócalo Group received numerous industry awards for its work in digital communications, public relations, social media, and reputation building. Rand’s previous roles include serving as chief digital officer and chief growth and innovation officer at Ketchum, a global public relations firm, and as executive vice president at Golin. He started his career at Burson-Marsteller in Chicago.  Rand was also the co-founder and president of the Capable Kid Counseling Centers, a nationally recognized system of outpatient mental health counseling centers for children and their families.  The Capable Kid Centers were acquired by National Medical Enterprises (later acquired by Tenet Healthcare Corporation).


In addition to his professional role, Rand participates in a number of civic organizations including the Economic Club of Chicago and the Executive Club of Chicago. He is a member of Ivy+ and serves on the advisory board for the American Association of Universities (AAU). 


Rand holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in business administration and public policy from DePaul University. He is the creator and host of the Big Brain’s podcast, Adweek’s Branded Podcast of the Year and recipient of the Grand Gold CASE award as the best higher education podcast.  Rand is the author of Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth and Social Media to Build Your Brand and Your Business (McGraw Hill).