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Renee Kopkowski, B.A.

Vice President for Communications

Renee Kopkowski is a results-oriented executive highly experienced in Communications Strategy, Change Management, Crisis Management, Internal Communications, Public Relations, Reputation Management, and Social Media.

She’s had the pleasure of working in agency, corporate, higher education, and nonprofit settings, effectively leading corporate change, reputation campaigns and launching new products. Before joining Yale, Renee was Vice President of Institute Communications at Georgia Tech. There, she served as the Chief Communications Officer for the Institute and leader of the central communications and marketing function responsible for creating, managing, and maintaining the university’s brand and building and protecting the organization’s reputation. Under her oversight, the team built and launched a new brand for Georgia Tech, including an Institute narrative and visual identity. They also created and implemented a successful communications strategy that increased earned media and built additional awareness of Georgia Tech among decision-makers in business, academia, and public policy.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Renee was President and Partner at stratigence, inc., a full-service communications agency where she led the development of strategic communications programs and campaigns for clients in Pharma, F&B and Technology, drawing on management team experience and using a unique strategic approach that drove effective and efficient communications across all channels.

In addition to her time in higher education and consulting, Renee led Communications for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the world’s second-largest quick-service chicken concept. While there, she developed a 360° Corporate Communications and Public Relations strategy to build the company’s reputation with franchisees and investors, build awareness of brand promotions with consumers and strengthen employee engagement as well as their understanding of business goals.  She also oversaw the company’s International Franchisee Conference and annual business meetings.

Prior to Popeyes, Renee led Global External Communications for Mars, Incorporated. While at Mars, Renee also spent six years sitting on the Management Team as Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Mars Chocolate North America, the $3.2 billion business known best for producing six of the country’s top 10 chocolate brands, including M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, DOVE®, 3 MUSKETEERS, and MILKY WAY®. During her time at Mars, she developed the company’s external corporate reputation strategy, re-launched the organization’s digital presence and external website, created media training and measurement programs for the global organization and all 74 countries within the business, and oversaw executive and employee communications for the Chocolate business, including leading and implementing internal and external communications through several business transformations and acquisitions. In addition, she delivered award-winning Brand Communications programs.

Before joining Mars, she was co-owner of Wonder Public Relations, a boutique communications agency based near Atlanta, Georgia. Her early career included television news, as well as Media Relations and Internal Communications for two large hospital systems in Florida and Georgia.

Renee is actively involved in PRSA and is a former President of PRSA|GA, the nation's second-largest PRSA chapter, and a PRSA|GA Radiant Star Award recipient. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for AAU's Public Affairs Network, and is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the world's leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives and educators.