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Top Spokesperson Neal Leaves Communications Office

By Andrew M. Duehren and Daphne C. Thompson, Crimson Staff Writers

UPDATED: August 5, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.

Jeff Neal, a top University spokesperson, left his position at Harvard Public Affairs and Communications in late July after seven years of guiding Harvard’s media strategy and representing a number of its leaders.

Neal, who joined HPAC in 2009, said he intends to take a six-month sabbatical to work on a writing project and will not seek another full-time position until 2017 at the earliest. HPAC has not named Neal’s replacement, and an online posting for a Assistant Vice President of Communications remains open.

“Whatever the future might hold, I am happily embarking upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus on a few things for which I otherwise have far too little time and to be very thoughtful in deciding my future career path,” Neal wrote.

Since 2014, Neal had managed the media presence of University President Drew G. Faust, Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, and other members of Harvard’s central administration, penning press releases and sitting in on interviews with reporters. Previously, Neal was the primary spokesperson for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, where he was tasked with shepherding the Faculty through the intense media scrutiny that accompanied revelations of a widespread cheating scandal in 2012.

A Texas native, Neal previously served as the chief spokesperson for the governor of Rhode Island.

“Jeff played a vital role advancing awareness of Harvard faculty research and the University’s commitment to financial aid and expanding access first at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and most recently as part of the University’s central communications team,” said Paul Andrew, Harvard's Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications. “We thank him for his seven years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

—Staff writer Andrew M. Duehren can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @aduehren.
—Staff writer Daphne C. Thompson can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @daphnectho.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: August 5, 2016

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the year Jeff Neal joined Harvard Public Affairs and Communications.

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