Hallema Sharif, interim executive director of communications for Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts in Qatar, has been named public relations and communications director for the Office for Inclusion and Diversity at Virginia Tech. She will begin her new role on Aug. 8.

Sharif will direct and implement an integrated communications and marketing program to advance Virginia Tech’s university-wide commitment to inclusion and diversity that aligns with the university priorities. She will also work collaboratively with communications directors across the campus to align university leadership messaging to raise the visibility of Virginia Tech’s inclusion and diversity programs and strategies.

“I am excited to join Virginia Tech as the public relations and communications director to further advance the institution's inclusion and diversity initiatives,” said Sharif. “I am looking forward to partnering with pioneering leaders to continue building a culture on an open and transparent foundation that encourages individuals to contribute ideas freely.”

Sharif comes to Virginia Tech with more than 25 years of experience as a communications, public relations, and brand marketing leader and consultant for corporate and higher education organizations. She also has experience in content marketing and brand message development.

“I’m delighted that Hallema will be joining the Office for Inclusion and Diversity,” said Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs. “She brings a wealth of experience in industry, media, and corporate and public relations to Virginia Tech, and has extensive experience related to communicating, marketing and branding of inclusion and diversity initiatives in higher education. She will be a valuable resource for the entire campus.”

As public relations and communications director, Sharif will develop campus and public engagement strategies for the Office for Inclusion and Diversity as well as serve as a university-wide resource for inclusion and diversity communications. She will actively collaborate with and guide faculty, staff, and students in aligning and advancing their individual and unit inclusion and diversity outreach strategies in tandem with those of the institution.

Sharif earned a bachelor of arts in mass communication from Xavier University of Louisiana (1996) and is pursuing an MBA in marketing from the University of Phoenix.