Over more than 25 years in higher education communications and public affairs, Fenlason has helped shape and tell powerful stories of organizational impact at some of the country’s preeminent public and private institutions: Smith College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. She joined PRG as a senior associate in 2023.
At Smith, Fenlason led a 25-person centralized communications department that encompassed admission marketing, development and alumni communications, media relations, presidential communications, special events, and pre-college programs. She served on the search committees for two Smith presidents and oversaw their introductions to the global Smith community. She led the college’s public response on numerous complex issues, including freedom of speech, bias allegations, student illnesses and deaths, contested tenure decisions, health and safety, research facilities, controversial speakers, college property acquisitions, and PILOT demands.
As Smith’s first vice president for strategic initiatives, she helped frame and steer key institutional priorities across the finish line, including the elimination of student loans, a reorganization of career services (which garnered $10M in donor support), and a visioning project to guide Smith’s academic and co-curricular development toward 2035. She developed and wrote op-eds, speeches, fundraising proposals, and strategy papers and advised on presidential visibility opportunities and strategic partnerships. A proud graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she advises a wide range of higher education institutions and related nonprofits and is frequently consulted on matters of governance, leadership transition, issues management, communication strategy, executive presence and positioning, and strategic planning and visioning.
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