Yale News

After a little over two and a half years at Yale, Vice President for Communications Eileen O’Connor has resigned from her post at the University.

O’Connor, a former lawyer and journalist, was the first to hold the position at Yale after its creation in 2016. Her position replaced that of Elizabeth Stauderman, the University’s chief communications officer, who left for the University of Rochester in 2015. Moving forward, O’Connor will likely return to pro-bono legal work, focusing on issues such as the death penalty and asylum, she told the News on Thursday morning.

“It was just the right time,” she said. “I just wanted to get back to the practice of law.”

She informed University President Peter Salovey of her decision this summer and will continue to advise him through September, according to a notice of O’Connor’s departure sent to University leaders and communications officers on July 30. Office of Public Affairs and Communications Director Tom Conroy will assume O’Connor’s duties during the search for her successor.

When she arrived at Yale, O’Connor overtook the responsibilities of the University’s chief communications officer, a position that no longer exists, overseeing the Office of Public Affairs and Communications. The Office promotes University-related news both internally and to national media outlets. O’Connor also filled one of the nine seats belonging to vice presidents on Salovey’s 25-member advisory cabinet.

During her tenure, O’Connor counseled University leadership on issues pertaining to communications and crisis management, and expanded the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism and the online news service Yale News. She also served as the point person for communications between the University and journalists at the News and other media outlets.

“Eileen greatly enhanced coordination among the communications officers across the schools and other units of the [University], and she developed capacity within the Office of Public Affairs and Communications to bring Yale and its contributions to the attention of the most influential media,” Salovey wrote in the email.

Hailey Fuchs | hailey.fuchs@yale.edu