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Carolyn Assa

Office for Sustainability

Director of Communications

Carolyn Assa joined Harvard in January 2023 as the Director of Communications for the Office for Sustainability. She comes to us from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she most recently was the Director of Communications for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, part of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, where she worked closely with the agency’s Climate Resilience Office. Prior to that, she was the Director of Communications for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, part of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, where she was the spokesperson for five regulatory agencies and helped launch an anti-vaping public service initiative. While working for the state she was part of a team recognized by the Governor with the Manual Carballo Award for Excellence in Public Service for a campaign on water safety.

A senior-level marketing and communications strategist, award-winning broadcast journalist, and former network television executive, Carolyn has led national public service initiatives for Disney/ABC Television and for the Federal Communications Commission. She also oversaw transition communications for Yvonne Spicer, the first mayor of the City of Framingham, MA. In addition to her work in government and media, Carolyn has held leadership roles in education, healthcare, nonprofits, and public relations. She was the founding editor-in-chief of acclaimed magazines at three separate education institutions. A published author and polished storyteller, she has told stories from newsrooms, boardrooms, and classrooms.

Carolyn holds a master’s degree in Communications from Emerson College, a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and participated in the Women’s Leadership executive education program at the Harvard Business School.