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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

September 21, 2011
Cheryl Reitan | Interim director | UMD Public Relations and Marketing | 218 726-8996 |
Lucy Kragness | Assistant | UMD Office of the Chancellor | 218 726-6176 |

Director of External Affairs Announced

Susan BanovetzSusan Banovetz
Former Duluth resident and former Duluth School Board member Susan Banovetz has been named the director of External Affairs for the University of Minnesota Duluth, effective September 26, 2011. As director of External Affairs, Banovetz will provide leadership and cabinet-level administrative oversight to UMD's media and public relations, community relations, government relations, marketing and communication, publications and photography.

"I'm thrilled to be joining UMD to advance its work and its service to students and the greater community," Banovetz said. "The extra benefit of returning to Duluth is icing on the cake. My loyalty to, and pride in, UMD, Duluth and Northeastern Minnesota have remained strong, and I am honored to have this opportunity."

The External Affairs department is being created by reorganizing UMD's current administrative structure. "We are pleased to have Sue join us and to lead our External Affairs team," said Lendley C. Black, UMD chancellor. "Her extensive background in Minnesota government, the University of Minnesota, her ties with the Duluth community, the North Shore and Iron Range, and her expertise in communication and marketing will be invaluable as UMD moves forward."

Banovetz has been the mayor of the City of Vadnais Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, since 1997, a position she resigned to assume her new role at UMD. Prior to be elected mayor, she served on the Vadnais Heights City Council for six years. She served on the Duluth School Board from 1981-1987. Her experience includes holding public relations leadership positions at the College of Liberal Arts on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus; William Mitchell College of Law; Saint Paul Area Red Cross; Century College in White Bear Lake; and the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board.

A former UMD student, Banovetz has family ties to Silver Bay and the Iron Range, and lived in Duluth for 11 years with her husband, Peter, a former St. Louis County assistant attorney, and their children.

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