Pedro Ribeiro, senior vice president for communications and public affairs at the Association of American Universities (AAU), has been appointed vice president for public affairs and communications at the University of Notre Dame, University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today. Ribeiro will assume his new duties on Oct. 2.
“We are excited to welcome Pedro, an accomplished professional with proven expertise in global, national and local communication; public affairs; marketing; government relations; and crisis communications,” Father Jenkins said. “He combines extensive experience in local and federal government with a deep knowledge of research universities gained through his leadership role with the Association of American Universities.”
During his tenure at the AAU, Ribeiro managed and directed the association’s communications, advocacy, campaign and public outreach activities and strategies. He was responsible for advising the AAU president, board and member presidents and chancellors on advocacy strategies to highlight and strengthen the public service missions of AAU member institutions.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to be chosen by Father John to join the leadership team of one of the most remarkable institutions in higher education,” Ribeiro said. “Notre Dame is a special and unique university — a world-class research institution inspired and guided by its Catholic faith. My family and I are eagerly looking forward to joining the Notre Dame and South Bend communities.”
In his role at the AAU, he convened and advised the association’s communications and public affairs leaders while developing and implementing strategies to address pressing and emerging public perception issues impacting higher education. He also founded and co-directed the AAU public opinion survey project, which monitors, tracks and analyzes the public’s views on higher education and America’s leading universities.
A graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Ribeiro served previously as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs and senior adviser for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as assistant director of public affairs for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He also served as press secretary and a member of the senior executive team for the mayor of the District of Columbia and as a senior adviser on Capitol Hill, holding several positions in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As vice president, Ribeiro will provide strategic communications and governmental relations advice to the president and other senior University leaders, communicating about and advocating for the mission and priorities of Notre Dame. He will oversee the offices of public affairs, University communications and Notre Dame Magazine.