Senior Executive Vice President


Matt Gerien counsels college and university presidents and senior leaders on strategic communications. With more than two decades of experience in higher education communications, broadcast journalism and politics, Matt is a recognized expert in crisis communications and issues management for academic institutions. Matt currently serves as senior advisor for strategic communications for the Council of Independent Colleges

He joined RW Jones in 2021 after working as chief communications officer at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he managed strategic communications, marketing and government affairs. After leading the national liberal arts college through a brand refresh, his team’s marketing strategy led to a 25% increase in first-year applications. 

Previously, Matt spent a decade working as a broadcast journalist. He was managing editor for a network affiliate in Memphis overseeing newsroom operations, the investigative unit and political coverage while a credentialed member of the White House and Congressional Press Corps. He was also an on-air television reporter for stations in Binghamton, New York; Burlington, Vermont; Washington; and Memphis. 

He also served as the press secretary for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he served a two-year term as a student member of the board of trustees. He also holds a master’s in broadcast and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. 

Matt lives in Memphis with his wife and twin daughters.