The Iona College Campus Quad

Gabrielle N. Simpson '08, '10MA

Communications, branding and media expert Gabrielle N. Simpson joined Barnard College of Columbia University as vice president and head of Communications in August 2018. Reporting to the President of the College in a cabinet-level position, Simpson serves as chief communications and chief marketing officer and top spokesperson for Barnard, the most selective institution in the U.S. devoted to empowering extraordinary women.

Simpson is responsible for leading marketing, internal and external communications, events, and developing multimedia storytelling via digital, print, video, editorial and creative design; she is also responsible for planning media relations and strategic crisis, news and issues communications. She spearheads the creation and implementation of marking and communications campaigns to attract the brightest applicants, recruit the best faculty and staff, motivate alumnae and donors, and further the College’s mission.

She executes a sophisticated, robust and ambitious marketing and communications strategy that conveys the College’s impact in the world. Simpson promotes and increases the visibility of the College to advance its mission of women’s leadership and education, as well as Barnard’s vision and priorities. Additionally, as a member of the President’s Council, she works closely with the Board of Trustees and senior staff to support the College’s strategic goals.

Prior to Barnard, Simpson was global director of Communications and Public Relations at Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB), a global marketing communications company. She was responsible for leading partnerships with the company’s worldwide network of communications professionals to change consumer behavior to the benefit of its clients, staff and society.

Prior to FCB, Simpson served as director of Communications for NBCUniversal, where she oversaw the development of internal and external communications plans in support of the corporation’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. She also served as an advisor to NBCUniversal’s Young Professionals Network, which cultivates millennial and early-in-career employees. In 2014, Ebony.com recognized Simpson for her industry-wide accomplishments and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Before working for NBCUniversal, Simpson was manager of Communications for CBS Corporation, where she initiated and implemented publicity campaigns for the Network and all accompanying corporate divisions and brands. Additionally, she served as the communications liaison between executives across the company and led daily communications operations. Simpson also served as a charter member of CBS’ first corporate-wide diversity council. Simpson joined CBS’ Network Sales Planning team in 2008 and served as a part-time broadcast associate for CBS Sports.

In 2007, she began her career as a production assistant on ABC’s morning show Live with Regis and Kelly.

At her alma mater, Iona College, Simpson presently serves as a career mentor, alumni board member, and advisory board member of the Sports, Entertainment and Media Innovation department. As a graduate adjunct professor at New York University (NYU), Simpson teaches graduate-level courses in integrated marketing, digital and social media, advanced public relations, media relations, corporate communications, and event planning courses while introducing and testing new processes.

Simpson is an honors graduate of Iona College (MA in Sports & Entertainment Public Relations and BA in Television, Video Production and Film), and received the Brother Durning Rising Star Award in 2018 for her early-career achievements. She has been named to PRWeek's 2019 Hall of Femme list of Women To Watch as one of 28 trailblazing women who are shaping the future of the communications industry. She is originally from Los Angeles and currently resides with her husband in Westchester County, N.Y.