Ria Carlson is the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at the University of California, Irvine, responsible for advancing the university’s mission and reputation through worldwide strategic communications, advocacy and marketing efforts. She reports directly to the Chancellor and serves on the Chancellor’s Cabinet and Advisory Committee.
Carlson leads the university’s Strategic Communications & Public Affairs team, charged with a variety of functions, including: brand development and management; communications planning and strategic messaging; crisis and internal communications; public, government, community and media relations; marketing, publications and advertising; and web, visual and digital properties.
She joined the university in March 2012 after serving more than 25 years as a chief communications, strategy and marketing officer at publicly traded corporations. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President of Communications, Strategy and Global Branding at Ingram Micro Inc., the world’s leading technology distributor, where she served on the worldwide executive team. She held similar roles at large, publicly traded healthcare corporations and a prominent nonprofit organization. She started her career as an associate producer at NBC in Burbank, Calif.
Carlson is an active volunteer, serving on boards of her college alumni association, local educational foundations and Bowers Museum. She earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism at the University of Southern California and management certificates at the University of California, Irvine.