Allison Otu, a proven leader with 18 years of experience in strategic communications and brand management, has been named the first executive director of marketing and communications at the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS, a new position created to catapult both brands to global heights.
Otu, who takes the post on Nov. 1, comes from the University of Arizona where she most recently served as the Health Sciences executive director for corporate and community relations in the Office of the Senior Vice President.
Otu will lead an expanded marketing and communications team that provides support for both the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS. Her responsibilities will include leveraging the Cronkite brand nationally and internationally by promoting new initiatives; elevating the mission of public media and the role it plays within local communities; supervising internal and external communications for both organizations; developing paid and organic recruitment and marketing strategies; overseeing the Cronkite website and all social channels; and organizing and implementing events for Cronkite and Arizona PBS.
“I am very excited to have Allison joining our team at Cronkite,” said Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “Her energy, expertise and ideas will help support our mission and our communities. I look forward to working alongside her.”
In accepting the position, Otu says she has great admiration for the work that Cronkite and Arizona PBS have accomplished in the journalism and communication spaces and is eager to build on their reputation as trustworthy, accurate and inclusive. She is also enthusiastic about contributing to Arizona State University’s ranking as number one in innovation.
“This role is a fantastic opportunity to return to my journalism roots and lead multitalented teams,” Otu said. “I’m thrilled to build a comprehensive global brand strategy that will not only elevate Cronkite and Arizona PBS but journalism and storytelling as a whole.”
Otu is credited with developing and organizing signature programs such as Connect2STEM, the largest youth STEM outreach event in Phoenix with 40,000 attendees over seven years.
Otu, a member of the executive leadership team at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, led a 14-person marketing and communications department that was responsible for the college’s content development, public affairs, media production, graphic design and community outreach.
Otu serves on the board of directors for Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Inc. and Arizona School for the Arts. She is the co-chair of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Health Innovation Committee and was appointed by City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego as chair to the Phoenix Women’s Commission in 2021. She also serves on the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement Steering Committee in various roles including vice chair of marketing, communications and public affairs as well as awards chair and marketing chair.
Prior to her work at the University of Arizona, Otu spent five years overseeing public relations at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and an Executive MBA from the University of Arizona.
Otu was named one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 recipients in 2007 and earned a Top 35 Under 35 Entrepreneur award from the Arizona Republic that same year.