Dr. Kelly O. Chezum leads Clarkson’s comprehensive integrated marketing, communications, government and external partnership initiatives and has been part of stewarding the University’s long-range planning activities since 2003. She is also Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees, serving as the professional staff liaison to the Board.
With more than 25 years of experience as a creative marketing professional and administrator in the public, private, nonprofit and government sectors, Dr. Chezum has oversight of the University brand, government relations, Web and publication development, board relations and governance issues, media and public relations, special projects and events, crisis communications, and supports strategic planning. She has been one of the COVID-19 Response Team leads since March 2020.
On behalf of the University, she also commits her energy to economic development initiatives advancing the quality of life in New York’s Adirondack North Country as well as several national committees and regular speaking engagements for the Association of Governing Boards, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Association of Independent Technological Universities. She is the President of the Board of Directors for the Adirondack North Country Association and past Education Program Chair for Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations (WED), where she was also a recipient of the WED organization's Education Pioneer Award. She is also a member of the Adirondack Global Sports Commission developing a plan for further international tourism opportunities including the International Children's Games and World University Games coming to the region in 2023. She is a also a director on the Public Policy Institute for the New York State Business Council and a member of the Education Committee for the New York State Economic Development Corporation. Dr. Chezum was the director of Corporate & Foundation Relations during the last Campaign for Clarkson where she made numerous alumni and partner connections and collaborated with faculty and staff to raise more than $77 million in private support. Prior to coming to Clarkson, she was on the marketing and client relations team for Aramark’s Campus Services division with primary responsibilities in New York and New Jersey for maximizing sales growth. Her background includes bank marketing, book and magazine publishing with key roles in direct mail campaigns, and public relations and grantwriting for one of the largest public housing agencies in the country. She did her undergraduate studies in marketing and communications at Carroll University (WI) and is a graduate of Clarkson’s M.B.A. program. Dr. Chezum earned her doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University (MA).