Cornell University has enrolled Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates CEO Joel Malina for its key university relations slot, following a national search.

joel malinaMalina will take over communications, community and government relations for the Ivy League institution on March 31.

Cornell communications head Tommy Bruce moved to Dartmouth College in October. Vice president of government/community relations Stephen Philip Johnson announced his retirement from Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cornell in March.

“Joel brings to Cornell a superb background in government relations and strategic communications at a time when coordinated approaches and strong partnerships locally, across New York state, in Washington and around the world will help define our future,” said Cornell president David Skorton.

Malina, a Yale University grad and Scarsdale, N.Y., native, has been with Washington-based, WPP-owned W&W since 1992, including a three-year term building an organization of public and private research universities, The Science Coaltion, which included Cornell. He started out as an intern with the firm and took the reins as CEO in May. 

He started out as an aide to New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey and was mentored at W&W by the late Democratic strategist Anne Wexler.

Malina's scope includes the university, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell NYC Tech in development on Roosevelt Island, and the school's extended network.