Diane “Di” Saunders joined Oregon Tech in July 2014 as Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs. She manages the university’s comprehensive external and internal marketing/communications/public affairs (MarCoPa) strategy and implementation efforts, working as a team with her colleagues in the MarCoPa Department, and with faculty, staff, and students to effectively communicate Oregon Tech’s mission, programs, brand, and new ventures. Besides working to “operationalize” MarCoPa initiatives/functions across Oregon Tech’s campuses and sites, Di supports the president and senior leadership with their executive communications needs, develops and manages crisis communications planning and implementation, develops legislative messaging and materials, and manages comprehensive MarCoPa strategy and implementation for the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center R&D, of which Oregon Tech is the operations host, among many other functions.
Prior to joining Oregon Tech, Di was Director of Communications for the Oregon University System for more than 11 years (2002-2014); was Vice President for Communications & Public Affairs at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Boston (1999-2002), and held the same position at Nellie Mae student loan corporation (1987-1999) where she also worked extensively in the area of student loan debt management and research, besides the normal duties in her Mar/Comm portfolio. Di worked internationally in Botswana, Africa from 1981 to 1987, first as a secondary school English teacher in the Peace Corps, and later as a private consultant for the Ministries of Education and Local Government and Lands.
Di received a B.A. in English and a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate from Portland State University; and an M.S. in Communications Management at Simmons College in Boston.
A proud third-generation Oregonian, Di lives in the Portland area with her husband Charles and enjoys her favorite hobby, gatherings with her large extended family!