Thomas W. Bruce, an experienced international public affairs professional whose 25 years in the nation's capital encompass policymaking on Capitol Hill, diplomacy and international consulting as well as a stint as the anchor of a national public affairs cable television show, has been named vice president for communications and media relations at Cornell University by President Jeffrey S. Lehman, subject to approval of the Board of Trustees. He will join Cornell in early April."I am delighted that Tommy Bruce is bringing his skills in formulating high-level communications and advocacy programs to Cornell," said Lehman. "He understands viscerally the academic values that define our great university. And, he has the kind of subtle, sensitive mind that is required to project those values with force and integrity, nuance and clarity."
Bruce brings to Cornell a wide array of experience in creating and managing large-scale advocacy campaigns in the areas of international and domestic business, politics and public policy. His previous work includes establishing the Moscow-based national outreach program that secured public support for privatization in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, advocating in support of free trade between Chile and the United States, and designing political communications strategies on behalf of select national governments and Fortune 100 companies.
Most recently, as senior vice president of OMNICOM's Washington, D.C.-based Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates (CLS), Bruce oversaw the day-to-day communications efforts to win congressional funding of America's $1 billion debt to the United Nations and secure U.S. support for the reunification of Cyprus. He also represented European interests in ongoing U.S.-European union trade negotiations and advocated for regional political support for common technology standards in the Americas. Commenting on being the first to hold the position of vice president for communications and media relations, a post created by Lehman upon assuming the Cornell presidency in July 2003, Bruce said, "My family and I are honored to be joining the Cornell community. There is no more important mission in America, and indeed in the world, than higher education. I look forward to serving President Lehman in furthering his vision of engagement, and working with the university faculty and all of Cornell's talented constituencies."
Before joining CLS, Bruce established the Office of External Relations of the Organization of American States (OAS) and served as its first director. There, he brought together the leading Nobel laureates of the Americas to highlight the hemisphere's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the OAS.
Earlier, Bruce rose to the presidency of the international business division of the Sawyer/Miller Group, a public relations firm where he specialized in developing political communications strategies. Prior to that, he worked for two years with the Christian Science Monitor, where, as a news anchor, he conceptualized and developed a weekly national political television show focused on the major stories originating in Congress, including a behind-the-scenes look at American politics.
Bruce served from 1981 to 1990 as senior staff of the International Relations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He got his start in political campaigning in the late 1970s when he worked for President Jimmy Carter's re-election campaign, which included a tour of duty on the White House staff. He has worked with international investors as an analyst in Egypt and helped launch a successful travel incentive business in the United States.
Bruce has channeled his interest in community service by serving on a number of boards, including 15 years as chairman of the board of directors of Sasha Bruce Youthworks, the largest private agency in the District of Columbia working with runaway children.
Born in Midland, Texas, Bruce grew up in Paris. He was educated at the University of Paris and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his bachelor's degree from the School of Foreign Service in 1979. His fields of study were international relations, Arabic and Middle East studies. Bruce is married to film producer and former National Geographic Television executive Constance L. Bruce and is the father of Louise and Charlotte Bruce.