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Patti Richards, director of communications at the Laboratory for Computer Science, has been appointed to the new position of senior communications officer in Public Relations Services, effective June 1. The announcement was made jointly by Vice President Kathryn A. Willmore and Kenneth D. Campbell, director of the News Office.
Ms. Richards will develop, coordinate and help execute strategic communications activities in support of major institutional priorities, with an emphasis on media relations. Her office will be in the News Office, which has recently moved to Rm 11-400.
Since 1997, Ms. Richards has directed public relations activities at the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS), including the launch of the MIT Oxygen project; the lab's 35th anniversary celebration; and the publication of books by Michael Dertouzos, director of the lab, and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and principal research scientist at LCS.
Ms. Richards worked as assistant to the publisher of Ms. magazine from 1978-81 after graduating from Kirkland College in Clinton, NY. In 1982, she moved into book publicity with Hearst Books and Pocket Books.
She was one of the cofounders of Collins Publishers (now HarperCollins Publishers) in 1984, where she served as publicity director for the Day in the Life books, the best-selling photographic book series in US history, and other Collins titles.
In 1992, Ms. Richards was one of the co-founders of a San Francisco multimedia publishing company, Against All Odds Productions. As vice president for public relations and marketing for four years, she directed the campaign for 24 Hours in Cyberspace and coordinated the launch of two book/CD-ROM titles that helped introduce interactive technology to the book publishing industry.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 6, 2001.