Riggs Lewis, UofL's new vice president for external relations and communications. Photo by Jamie Rhodes
Riggs Lewis, UofL's new vice president for external relations and communications. Photo by Jamie Rhodes.

The University of Louisville takes a fresh direction in its outreach initiatives with the appointment of Riggs Lewis as the university’s new vice president for external relations and communications (VPERC). Lewis comes to UofL from Norton Healthcare, where he has served as the system vice president for health policy since 2015. He begins his service at UofL in July.

The VPERC is a newly created position that will merge the responsibilities of the previous vice president of communications and marketing and vice president of government relations. In this role, Lewis will lead all university efforts in strategic communications, government relations and external relations with state and federal sponsors, partners and regulators. This includes oversight of communications and marketing across all campuses, including the university’s centralized efforts in branding, advertising, internal and executive communications, crisis communications and issues management. He will collaborate with other senior university leaders to cultivate and strengthen relationships with state and federal government legislators, agencies, trustees and other internal and external audiences; and establish the overall strategy for advocacy programs to shape the university’s image and advance strategic plan goals.

“With his deep expertise in community and social services, Riggs is a powerful advocate poised to make a significant impact for the University of Louisville,” said UofL President Kim Schatzel. “His work will be instrumental in advancing UofL’s priorities across its campuses, academic medical centers and regional laboratories.”

Lewis has more than 30 years of experience in public affairs, state and federal government relations and business litigation. He established and served as the inaugural board chair of the Louisville Medical and Education District and is an esteemed UofL alumnus with a Doctor of Law degree from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

“I am deeply grateful to return to my alma mater and join President Schatzel’s leadership team,” said Lewis. “It is a distinct honor to represent this prestigious, cornerstone institution of our commonwealth. I look forward to helping advance its mission to educate and serve the community through teaching, research and engaged service.”