Jack Faris, director of community strategies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been selected by University of Washington President Richard L. McCormick to be the next vice president for university relations, effective June 1. The appointment is subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.
Faris joined the Gates Foundation in 1999. He was executive vice president and general manager of Cole & Weber, a Seattle advertising agency, from 1985 to 1999. Faris was with Leo Kramer International from 1976 to 1984, where he consulted on projects in marketing, market research and management strategy. He was an associate professor of sociology at Towson State University in Maryland from 1974 to 1982.
“Jack Faris will bring a unique perspective to this important position,” McCormick says. “He has a passion for higher education and specifically for the University of Washington. He has deep ties in the Seattle community and throughout Washington, and a proven track record in achieving awareness and support for many organizations and issues.”
At the Gates Foundation, Faris has been responsible for overall public relations and communications strategy. At Cole & Weber, he served as team leader for the Boeing account, providing strategic direction for all of Boeing’s advertising, and directed the SAFECO account for eight years. He also headed a variety of pro bono public service projects, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Seattle Symphony, Corporate Council for the Arts, Technology Alliance and United Way.
Faris serves on the ACT Theater board, the Seattle Symphony board, the Urban Enterprise Center board (and incoming chair), the Alliance for Education board (and vice chair) and the Washington Commission for the Humanities board (and vice chair).
Faris has continued to pursue his academic interests in sociology. His article, “The Looking Glass Army: Patriotism in the Post-Cold War Era” was published in Armed Forces and Society in 1995. He also presented a paper entitled, “The Institutionalization of Charisma: Corporate Image as a Moral, Life-giving Force of Love,” at the Fourth International Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in 1992.
Faris’s father taught sociology at the UW for 24 years and served as department chair for 13. Faris holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the UW (1968), as well as a master’s (1973) and doctorate (1976) in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Faris’s salary will be $170,000.