Engler appoints MSU spokesperson, vice president for external relations
With the appointments effective March 12, Interim President John Engler announced a new vice president and university spokesperson, Emily Gerkin Guerrant, and a new Executive Vice President for Government and External Relations, Kathleen Wilbur.
These key executive appointments are replacing Kent Cassella, MSU's previous spokesperson who resigned in February, and Mark Burnham, who previously served as vice president for governmental affairs.
As the new vice president and MSU spokesperson, Guerrant will be the main contact for media calls and requests, although MSU's media communications and brand strategy website and phoneline has not yet been updated with her contact information.
Guerrant previously served on various positions in the Michigan legislature, including the deputy press secretary for the Speaker of the House. Her most recent position was senior vice president of communications, marketing and public relations for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
In the press release, Guerrant said she looks forward to working on "the renewed trust being built" with the MSU community.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of rebuilding a new culture at MSU, one that is focused on collaboration and transparency,” Guerrant said in the release.
Wilbur will be responsible for government relations and communication.
From 1984-90, Wilbur was on the MSU Board of Trustees and previously served as the interim president at Central Michigan University. She has directed three different MSU departments and her most recent position was under the same title, executive vice president for government and external relations, at Central Michigan University.
“Kathleen’s credentials are impeccable," Engler said in the press release. "She has directed large, complex organizations in higher education and in state government. She is a collaborative and strategic decision maker. Her skill set will be extremely valuable at this time for MSU."
Both Guerrant and Wilbur are MSU alumnae.
Engler said appointing Guerrant and Wilbur to leadership positions at MSU "is a strong step in moving our university forward."