May 17, 2024

Roland King


Roland H. King is Senior Strategic Communications Advisor at PhairAdvantage Communications.  He most recently served as Vice President for Public Affairs at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) in Washington, D.C., for 15 years, retiring in 2013.

NAICU’s members are the presidents of nearly 1,000 private colleges and universities, as well as the CEOs of more than 70 specialized private college associations.  Roland’s responsibilities with the association encompassed public relations, media relations, publications, the association’s websites and social media efforts, and as primary writer/editor for all of NAICU’s communications with members, opinion leaders, and the general public.

Before joining NAICU, Roland was Director of University Relations at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he served as university spokesperson, directed the university’s public relations efforts, and oversaw both a video production unit and the weekly faculty/staff newspaper.  Previously, he had similar responsibilities as Director of Media and External Relations at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Earlier in his career, he consulted with educational institutions on marketing/communication issues, specializing in the evaluation and restructuring of public relations and publications programs.  His full-time positions during this period were as senior vice president with the Barton-Gillet Company and vice president with F.E. Worthington, Inc., both Baltimore-based communications firms, and also as head of his own consulting firm for two years.

Still earlier, Roland was director of public relations and publications at Bucknell University, where his communication program was recognized with more than 20 national awards.  He also has held leadership positions in communication with Carnegie Mellon University, Geisinger Medical Center, Coopers & Lybrand national headquarters, and Ketchum Public Relations.  A graduate of Penn State, he began his career at KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh).

Roland is an accredited member and a Fellow of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He is a founding member of PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education section for college and university public relations officers, as well as a founding member of the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania (CUPRAP).  In 2005, CUPRAP honored Roland with its Arthur V. Ciervo Award in recognition of “his career accomplishments in raising awareness of the role and needs of higher education at a national level.”

In D.C., Roland is a past president and was a member of the executive board of the Washington Higher Education Group, an organization of higher education public policy professionals.  He also served on the council of the public affairs and communications leaders at the six higher education “presidential associations,” the associations that represent U.S. higher education institutions with the federal government in establishing national higher education policy.

Throughout his career, Roland has spoken and written on such topics as assessing, planning, and managing communications programs; institutional marketing; video production; writing for traditional and electronic/digital media; use of the web in public relations, and effective publication design.  His articles on communication have appeared in numerous professional periodicals, and include major features for Currents, the monthly magazine of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

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