Montana State University

Calcagni tapped as MSU executive director of university communications

March 7, 2011


Thomas Calcagni, a Washington-D.C. media consultant with more than two decades experience as a broadcast journalist, author and senior adviser on Capitol Hill, has been selected as MSU's executive director of university communications.   High-Res Available

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Thomas Calcagni, a former communications executive with more than 20 years experience as a media consultant, broadcast journalist, author and senior adviser on Capitol Hill, has been selected to lead Montana State University's communications and marketing efforts.

Calcagni (cal-ca-nee) will assume responsibilities as executive director of university communications in Bozeman on March 28.

As executive director, Calcagni will oversee the units involved in Web design, marketing, news, graphics, printing, and MontanaPBS. He will also serve as the university's chief spokesperson to the media.

"I am grateful that we were able to successfully recruit an individual as talented as Mr. Calcagni," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. "I am extremely pleased he has accepted and excited to have him join us here at Montana State University."

As executive director, Calcagni will report directly to the president. He was selected from four finalists after a national search drew roughly 50 applicants.

"I'm really looking forward to joining the MSU family," Calcagni said. "It will be exciting to share the stories of a university that has so much to offer its students, the citizens of Montana and the nation."

Calcagni, 58, is a communications consultant with Calcagni Media, a Washington, D.C.-based media consulting firm. He has held senior communications positions at public and private corporations and associations, as well as at public relations firms in Washington, D.C. and Seattle. He has advised government, nonprofit organization and corporate clients on strategic communications, including branding, messaging, media relations, integrated marketing, digital and social media and crisis management.

Calcagni began his career as a local television reporter and his reporting appeared frequently on CNN. He was also a news anchor and news director at network-affiliated and independent television stations and served as communications director for two United States senators: Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Robert T. Stafford (R-VT). Stafford was chairman of the Senate Education Subcommittee, after whom the Stafford Student Loan Program is named.

As the most senior public relations executive at the National Office of the American Automobile Association (AAA), North America's largest membership association, Calcagni was responsible for strategic and crisis communications involving the national news media. He has been interviewed many times by local and national journalists, including live interviews with Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric, and testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Government Reform Committee about AAA's views on energy conservation.

Calcagni has a bachelor's from Middlebury College and a master's from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He is the author of the book "Tough Questions - Good Answers: Taking Control of Any Interview."

Calcagni is a native of Vermont. He is married to Elizabeth Calcagni and has three grown children.

Tracy Ellig, tellig@montana.edu (406) 994-5607