Deb Fiddelke, a communications executive with experience in national politics and multinational business, has been selected as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s next chief communication and marketing officer.
She assumes her new post on April 30.
A native Nebraskan, Fiddelke’s resume includes positions with former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel and President George W. Bush, as well as working for Edelman Public Relations, a global communications and marketing firm, and SC Johnson, an America-based, multinational marketer of household products.
“I am pleased to appoint Deb, with her breadth of both public sector and private sector experience, along with her Nebraska roots,” said Chancellor Ronnie Green. “I predict she will ably and confidently spearhead the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s marketing, branding and communication efforts as we celebrate the university’s 150th anniversary in 2019 and help us position the university for its next 150 years of successfully serving the state, nation and world.”
Fiddelke, who had previous experience working for former U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) and former U.S. Rep Deborah Price (R-Ohio), served as press secretary for Hagel’s successful 1996 Senate campaign. During Hagel’s first term, she served as his communications director and senior policy adviser.
From there, she worked at the White House under President George W. Bush from 2004 to 2008. As special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, she advised five cabinet appointees through their Senate confirmation hearings and promoted the president’s legislative priorities in the Senate. As deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs, she served as the White House point person in negotiating immigration legislation in the senate in 2007 and shepherded the reauthorization of the president’s international AIDS program through Congress in 2008.
After leaving Washington, she served as a senior member of the government and international relation teams that sought to bring the Olympics to Chicago in 2016. In 2010, she joined the Edelman’s Chicago office, where she provided corporate reputation, issues management and crisis communications counsel to clients that included Fortune 500 companies, economic development agencies and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2013, she joined SC Johnson, becoming the firm’s head of global public affairs and communications and later its senior director for global government relations.
Fiddelke grew up in Kearney, Nebraska, and earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1990 and 1991, respectively. She also holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
She said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve her alma mater — and to give her young son the same Nebraska childhood that she experienced.
“I have always been exceptionally proud to say that I graduated from the University of Nebraska, and I want everyone to know what an incredible place it is,” she said. “ I am honored to have the opportunity to assist Chancellor Green and his colleagues in their efforts to promote the university, increase enrollment, expand research and encourage economic development.
“Chancellor Green often says that the university serves as Nebraska’s DNA. This state and the university are also part of my DNA and I am excited for this chance to give back to a place that’s meant so much to me and my career. And, as a lifelong Husker fan, I’ll be thrilled to be back in Memorial Stadium for the first season of Coach Scott Frost.”