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Director of Communications and Government Relations


Kirsten Nelson

Kirsten Nelson was named Director of Communications and Government Relations for the State Council of Higher Education in January 2007.

Ms. Nelson is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the agency’s external communications programs, including state and federal relations with executive and legislative branch officials on policy, regulatory, and administrative matters. She also oversees media relations, constituent affairs, website management, and special events such as the Outstanding Faculty Awards ceremony.

Kirsten is currently enrolled in the VCU Nonprofit Management Certificate program and a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She has twenty years of experience in broadcast journalism. Her resume includes producing, anchoring, reporting, and writing for local media affiliates and ABC News. Before coming to SCHEV, Ms. Nelson was a Public Information Officer with the City of Richmond Police Department where she received a Department Citation for exemplary service.

She is married to Dr. Chas. Gowan, a biology professor at Randolph-Macon College, and has two children.