University Relations Appoints Chris Pilsner as Chief Relationship Officer

Chris Foley Pilsner
Chris Foley Pilsner

Chris Foley Pilsner, who has played a lead role in the marketing and communications success of the Isenberg School of Management for the past six years, is joining University Relations as its chief relationship officer for the campus.

In this newly created role, Pilsner will be a high-visibility member of the leadership team within Marketing and New Business Development, where she will advance the university’s growing marketing needs by partnering with schools and colleges as well as administrative units on a coordinated, University-wide strategy to reinforce the UMass Amherst brand. Reporting to Chief Marketing Officer Darryl Jelley, she will play a lead role in driving the customer perspective—both internal and external—by developing a centralized strategy and implementation plan for customer relationship management (CRM).

John Kennedy, vice chancellor for University Relations, says, “We are delighted that Chris Pilsner has joined our team. She brings creativity, energy and a proven record of success in developing and managing a marketing and communications team in the higher education environment. Her expertise will considerably strengthen University Relations’ ability to serve the marketing needs of the campus. To ensure UMass Amherst’s continued success in recruiting talented students and supporting the Commonwealth’s innovation economy, we must be deeply attuned to the needs of our customers. In her new role, Chris will focus on building and driving the growth of a robust set of relationship ecosystems.”

Key elements of Pilsner’s responsibilities will include:

  • Cross-campus systems, relationships and workflows
  • Student enrollment journeys
  • Strategic partnerships
  • University-wide services and support

Pilsner joined UMass Amherst in June 2013 as chief marketing officer at the Isenberg School and since July 2016 also served as assistant dean. Previously, she developed and implemented successful marketing strategies for a variety of companies and brands in the private sector. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Isenberg and earned a bachelor’s degree at Villanova University in English, women’s studies and political science.