USF Names Ellen Ryder as Vice President for Marketing Communications

SAN FRANCISCO (March 22, 2016) — The University of San Francisco (USF) has selected Ellen Ryder to serve as its new Vice President for Marketing Communications, where she will lead a 35-member team of marketing and communications professionals. Ryder was chosen following a national search that generated a pool of more than 100 highly-qualified candidates. She’ll start in late spring.

Ryder comes to USF from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., where she is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. She has worked at Holy Cross since 2004. During her tenure at Holy Cross, Ryder developed and implemented a new brand platform with integrated graphic identity, oversaw a comprehensive website redesign, and provided ongoing communications and public affairs counsel to members of the President’s Cabinet.

“I have great faith in Ellen’s ability to lead the talented team in USF’s Office of Marketing Communications, which plays a crucial role in helping the university achieve important goals in student recruitment, fundraising, and community engagement,” said USF President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. “She is an apt professional with the knowledge and experience to promote USF’s good reputation and focus local, national, and international attention on our distinct Jesuit mission.”

“I am excited by this extraordinary opportunity to work at such a great, mission-driven university,” Ryder said. “I am eager to partner with the skilled professionals in the Office of Marketing Communications to help USF reach its strategic goals.”

Ryder brings a strong foundation in writing, editing, graphic design, media relations, sales and marketing, and publications experience to the job. In 1994, she founded Ellen Ryder Communications, LLC, a Manhattan-based boutique firm that specialized in representing publishers, authors, artists, and educational programs. Her clients included Scientific American, the American Society of Magazine Editors, and the Association of American University Presses.

Prior to running her own firm, she established the in-house publicity department at GQ Magazine (1992-1994). Additionally, Ryder worked at Harper’s Magazine where she served as Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs and executed the magazine’s 150th gala anniversary celebration.

At New York University’s School of Continuing Education, Ryder taught a graduate level course in magazine publishing as an adjunct faculty member. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Wellesley College.

She will replace David F. Macmillan who is retiring after a 26-year career at USF. He was USF’s first-ever Vice President for Marketing Communications and previously served as Vice President of University Advancement.

For more information, or to request an interview with Ellen Ryder, please contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations at USF, (415) 422-2697 or