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Kate Derrick

Deputy Director for University Relations

Communications and Marketing


Kate Derrick is the deputy director for University Relations and the interim manager for Signature Events. In her role, she is responsible for supporting the university’s content strategy and implementation, including providing support and strategy for executive communication. She also serves in an interim capacity as the manager of Vanderbilt’s Signature Events team, which is responsible for event management for Commencement, Reunion, Family Weekend and other key celebratory moments for the university community.

Kate joined the University Relations team in 2018 after serving as digital media director in the Office of Governor Bill Haslam. In that role, she led digital and social media strategy for the governor. During her time in the Office of the Governor and while previously serving as communications director for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Kate led communications related to Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 educational attainment initiative, including marketing for Tennessee Reconnect, the state’s program to provide tuition-free community college to adults.

Kate came to Tennessee in 2010 after working as a communications strategist and project manager for tech startups and social entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

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