Marketing & Communications Consultant; Graduate Adjunct Professor at NYU

Gabrielle Gambrell Communications, branding and media expert Gabrielle Gambrell most recently served as the Vice President and Head of Marketing & Communications at Barnard College of Columbia University, the most selective institution in the U.S. devoted to empowering extraordinary women. Reporting to the President of the College in a cabinet-level position, Gambrell made history in her role as both the first Black woman to hold her title, as well as the youngest since the College’s founding in 1889. She served as chief communications and chief marketing officer and top spokesperson for Barnard. She spearheaded the creation and implementation of marketing and communications campaigns attracting the brightest applicants, recruiting the best faculty and staff, motivating alumnae and donors, and furthering the college’s mission.

Executing sophisticated, robust and ambitious marketing communications tactics to promote and increase visibility and support strategic goals are Gambrell’s baseline strengths. She has led award-winning marketing, internal and external communications, events, and multimedia storytelling via digital, print, video, editorial and creative design teams. Additionally, she has effectively led triumphant media relations and strategic crisis, news and issues communications.

Gambrell is often celebrated as a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to Barnard, she served as worldwide Director of Communications and Public Relations at FCB Global, an advertising agency network with offices in more than 80 countries. She was responsible for leading partnerships with the company’s worldwide network of communications professionals to change consumer behavior to the benefit of its clients, staff and society. Prior to FCB, Gambrell served as Director of Communications for NBCUniversal, where she led the development of internal and external communications plans in support of the corporation’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Gambrell directed special projects such as the launch of #NBCBLK28, using the 28 days in the month of February to honor 28 of the nation’s most talented Black innovators and game changers — all ages 28 years and younger. She also served as an advisor to NBCUniversal’s Young Professionals Network, which cultivates early-in-career employees. In 2018, Forbes recognized Gambrell for her industry-wide accomplishments and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Before working for NBCUniversal, Gambrell was Manager of Communications for CBS Corporation, initiating and implementing publicity campaigns for the Network and all accompanying corporate divisions and brands. Additionally, she served as the communications liaison between executives across the company and led daily communications operations. Gambrell also served as a charter member of CBS’ first corporate-wide diversity council. Gambrell joined CBS’ Network Sales Planning team in 2008 and served as a part-time broadcast associate for CBS Sports.

In 2007, she began her career as a Production Assistant on ABC’s morning show Live with Regis and Kelly.

At her alma mater, Iona College, Gambrell serves on the board of trustees, as a career mentor and advisory board member of the Sports, Entertainment and Media Innovation department. At New York University (NYU), Gambrell teaches graduate-level courses in integrated marketing, digital and social media, advanced public relations, media relations, corporate communications, and event planning courses while introducing and testing new processes.

Gambrell is an honors graduate of Iona College (M.A., Sports & Entertainment Public Relations and B.A., Television, Video Production and Film), and received their Rising Star Award in 2018 for her early-career achievements. She has been named to PRNEWS’ 2020 list of Top Women in PR and PRWeek’s 2019 Hall of Femme, as one of 28 trailblazing women who are shaping the future of the communications industry. She is originally from Los Angeles and currently resides with her husband and son in Westchester County, N.Y. You can learn more about her at and connect on Twitter and Instagram @_GiftofGab_.


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