Joel M. Malina
Vice President for University Relations
314 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Joel M. Malina serves as Vice President for University Relations, coordinating Cornell’s internal and external communications functions, the university’s relationships with federal, state, and local policy makers and stakeholders, visitor relations, and the Office of the Assemblies.
In coordinating communications, Malina supervises a large staff working in three critical areas: Strategic Communications , Media Relations and News, and Brand Communications. He also works closely with the deans and the communications directors of Cornell’s colleges and schools. Malina’s primary responsibilities in this arena include leading the development and implementation of a university-wide communications strategy and serving as Cornell’s principal spokesperson.
As head of Federal, State and Community Relations, Malina directs the university’s public policy efforts and coordinates its involvement with government-focused higher education associations. With offices in Washington, DC, in Albany, and on the Ithaca campus, Malina and the Federal, State and Community Relations teams serve as liaisons between Cornell and elected officials, agencies and other stakeholders at all levels of government. Malina also works closely with the government and community relations teams at Weill Cornell Medicine and at Cornell Tech.
A cum laude graduate of Yale University with a BA in political science, Malina came to Cornell from Washington, DC, where he served as CEO and general manager of Wexler | Walker, one of the nation’s top public policy consulting firms. Over the course of 21 years at the firm, Malina established himself as one of Washington’s premier strategists and coalition practitioners, managing numerous successful lobbying and communications campaigns on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, and trade associations.
Prior to joining Wexler | Walker in 1992, Malina served as a political aide to U.S. Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) and was an associate at Austin-Sheinkopf Communications, a New York City-based media relations firm.
A former professional actor, Malina appeared in numerous television commercials, off-Broadway, and regional theater productions.
Associate Vice President for University Relations
Jason L. Cole, Associate Vice President for University Relations, serves as senior adviser and principal deputy to Vice President Joel M. Malina and provides day-to-day operational guidance and support to the division.
Cole leads implementation efforts for division priorities and initiatives and works to enhance integration among the units within University Relations, which includes Federal, State and Community Relations; University Communications; Media Relations and News; Brand Communications; Visitor Relations; and the Office of the Assemblies.
In addition to serving as a de facto chief of staff for the division, Cole assists the Office of Federal Relations to advance thought-leadership opportunities for Cornell faculty. He also oversees the Office of Visitor Relations and the public affairs activities of the Office of Federal Relations.
Cole has more than 20 years of experience in government and government relations, with a broad background in organizational leadership, public policy development and advocacy, media relations, and political, issue and brand campaigns. Prior to accepting his position at Cornell, Cole was a member of the senior leadership team for MetLife’s Corporate Affairs and Global Government Relations, chief of staff for Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) and legislative director for former Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS).
Cole earned an MPA from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a BA in philosophy and political science from Kansas State University.