Campus News

Rod Guajardo named assistant to the president

Rod Guajardo (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

Rod Guajardo has been named assistant to University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead. Guajardo, who currently serves as senior director for integrated media communications in UGA’s Division of Marketing and Communications, will assume the role Nov. 6.

“Rod will be an excellent addition to the Office of the President,” Morehead said. “He has a diverse array of experiences in and outside of higher education that have prepared him well for this important role. Rod will be a strong partner to key stakeholders throughout our campus and the local community, and I look forward to working with him.”

As assistant to the president, Guajardo’s primary responsibilities will be focused on student affairs, inclusive excellence, community relations and executive communications. He will serve as the president’s liaison to the Staff Council, Retirees Association and Student Government Association, while representing the President’s Office in the planning of Staff Appreciation Day, the Holmes-Hunter Lecture and the Mary Frances Early Lecture, among other campus events. In addition, he will oversee the awarding of grants through the President’s Venture Fund and have responsibility for numerous communications projects within the Office of the President.

Guajardo joined UGA in 2021. In his current role, Guajardo manages media relations efforts across the institution, oversees UGA’s quarterly magazine, Georgia Magazine, and leads a team devoted to highlighting the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff across a variety of channels and platforms.

Prior to joining UGA, Guajardo served as news and media relations director at the University of Mississippi. In that role, he led strategic media relations efforts and managed crisis communications, which involved close collaboration with partners across campus including in the Division of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Diversity and Community Engagement, among others. Earlier, he served as editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, the second largest newspaper in Mississippi, and news editor of The Natchez (MS) Democrat.

“I am honored by the opportunity to assist President Morehead in advancing the university’s mission of teaching, research and service,” Guajardo said. “I look forward to working together with our students, faculty and staff in this role, as well as collaborating with our partners in Athens-Clarke County to enhance UGA’s impact in the local community.”

Born in Mexico, Guajardo grew up in Birmingham, Alabama from an early age and was the first in his family to complete higher education in the United States. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University and his master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Mississippi. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education from UGA’s Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education.

Guajardo has served on the board of directors of the Louisiana-Mississippi AP Media Editors, the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation, the United Way of Northeast Mississippi and the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, among other organizations. While a student at Auburn University, Guajardo served as editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman.

Guajardo and his wife live in Athens with their two daughters, the oldest of which attends Clarke County School District.