Catherine B. Lucas, B.A., APR
Vice President of Strategy and External Affairs
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Catherine Lucas is a recognized university leader who brings integrity, focus, vision and perspective to her work. She has earned a reputation for leading branding campaigns; planning strategic-communications programs; inspiring leadership growth; successfully guiding through transition; cultivating communities, students and higher education; and embracing change.
As vice president of Strategy, Lucas directs the University’s Strategy, Marketing and Communications office in its strategic marketing, communications, government-relations, special-events and outreach efforts. She has worked to redefine MSU Denver’s brand in the higher-education marketplace and spearheaded the strategic-communications efforts that led the institution to offer master’s degrees and change its name from “college” to “university.” In addition, she led the communications strategy around the University’s becoming a trailblazer in offering a special tuition rate for undocumented students. Most recently, she implemented a brand-journalism program to better tell the University’s story.
As chief of staff, Lucas serves as the president’s principal aide and logistics manager, evaluating challenges and providing recommendations to the senior leadership team. She also prepares speeches, presentations and talking points while overseeing the President’s Community Cabinet.
Lucas was a recipient of the Public Relations Society of America Colorado’s 2017 PR Person of the Year Award; the Association for Women in Communications’ Woman of Achievement Award; the Colorado Women Leadership Coalition’s Woman Leader of Excellence Award; and the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. In 2012, she received MSU Denver’s Distinguished Service Award.
She actively supports associations that advance education, including roles as commissioner for the Denver Public Library, board member for Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado and board member for the Public Education & Business Coalition, and was local lead for the Coalition of Urban Metropolitan Universities’ 2017 national conference in Denver. An active member in the business community, she serves on the board for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, is on the Public Affairs Council for the Denver Metro Chamber, is a graduate of the Denver Chamber’s Leadership Denver Program and is a committee member for the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Rocky Mountain City Summit.
Lucas received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, where she majored in journalism and is an Accredited Public Relations professional.