Posted on January 09, 2014

Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has added two seasoned executives to its leadership team to start the New Year.

Kathryn B. Symank and Paul F. Reilly join NU-Q in January 2014 as Chief Operations Officer and Director of Media Strategy, Marketing and Communication, respectively. These critical appointments come at a time when the university is experiencing significant growth,as evidenced by increasing enrollment, research activities and the construction of its new building.

Symank joins NU-Q from Texas A&M University’s home campus in College Station, Texas, where she held the position of Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Administrative Services. She has extensive administrative experience across operational fields such as finance, human resources, student services and other related areas. 

Symank succeeds David Carr, a founding leader of NU-Q, who is returning to the Northwestern Evanston campus where he has been appointed as associate vice president of cyber infrastructure.

Reilly, a respected leader in advertising is NU-Q’s first Director of Media Strategy, Marketing and Communication. He comes to NU-Q from BBDO New York, where he was an Executive Vice President and Senior Director. BBDO is the world’s most awarded advertising agency and the second largest global agency network.

About Symank, NU-Q’s dean and CEO, Everette E. Dennis, said, “I am delighted to welcome such an experienced professional to the NU-Q leadership team. She is known for fostering continuous improvements, and has accumulated extensive operational experience over the past two decades. I am confident that her work at NU-Q will serve to strengthen both our individual and organizational capacity.”

Qatar Airways Baku

A graduate of TAMU with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in history, Symank also earned an MBA at the University of Phoenix. Some of her most notable posts include Chief of Staff for the Vice President for Finance at TAMU and CFO, Director of Student Business Services.

Symank took part in the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, which emphasized organizational strategy, infrastructure management, resource management and personal effectiveness. She was selected for the special leadership institute and management seminar programs, the latter at the Center for Executive Development.  She began her career as a senior staff accountant at TAMU, followed by stints as a controller for a home building firm and as an accountant in charge of financial reporting and payroll at Wilsonart International, part of a Fortune 500 company.

As part of his new role, Reilly will bring leadership to current and new functions including internal and external communications, marketing, publications, digital media and others, in order to serve and align the needs of the school’s outreach efforts.

“As a school of communication and journalism, NU-Q’s central mission is interlinked with its public and media relations functions,” commented Dean Dennis. “Reilly is noted among his peers for creative thinking and strategic vision, as well as for collaborative team building and empowering his associates. It is these qualities that I believe will greatly benefit NU-Q in effectively projecting the collective work of faculty, students and leadership to the Northwestern and Qatar communities, as well as the wider region.”

At BBDO, Reilly managed some of the firm’s largest and most valued accounts. His honors in advertising include the 2012 President’s Award from the Advertising Club of New York, the BBDO Founders Award, the Omnicom Group’s Catalyst Award for Integrated Marketing and Five EFFIE awards for marketing effectiveness. A graduate of Fordham University in Communications, he also holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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