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Eastern Kentucky University has selected Colleen Chaney to be the Chief of Staff and Chief Communications Officer. Chaney will lead critical functions and initiatives of the President’s Office, President’s Cabinet and provide direct leadership to the Office of Communications and Brand Management.

“I am thrilled to have Colleen join our team. We are focused on establishing EKU as the first choice for students and continuing our mission to be Kentucky’s University,” said President Dr. David McFaddin. “Colleen has the education, demonstrated leadership experience and unique expertise in state and local public administration that will contribute greatly to our mission. In addition, as Chief of Staff, it will position her to implement critical initiatives from my office and the President’s Cabinet successfully. Add in the support from our award-winning Communications and Brand Management team, and I believe we have a recipe to bring added coordination, communication, and expertise internally while perpetuating our brand to the world.” 

Chaney brings more than 20 years of experience serving the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. With a keen interest in public administration, she earned degrees in both Political Science and Communications from Indiana University. She later continued her education by earning her Master of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. 

Having spent her career in public service, Chaney began her career in public and member relations with the Kentucky League of Cities, then served as the youngest female commissioner for Governor Ernie Fletcher in the Governor’s Office of Local Development, and transitioned to Director of Corporate and Legislative Affairs for Secretary of State Trey Grayson. She then focused her statewide experience on her home county by working with Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger and later serving as District Director for Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr, and most recently as Deputy Judge Executive for Madison County Judge Executive/Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) President Reagan Taylor. 

Chaney added, “Eastern Kentucky University is a critical part of the fabric of this region and its role as a leading educational institution makes it a vital component in the success of our community. As a proven leader in organizational management at the federal, state, and local level, I am excited to share my professional experience to assist EKU in its continued commitment to excellence. I thank the committee and President McFaddin for their confidence in me to effectively assume this role. As a Madison County resident and EKU alumna, I look forward to joining President McFaddin and the EKU family."

Chaney lives in Madison County with her husband, J.D. Chaney, and their daughters, Adaleen and Evaleen.