"I hired Nancy to
helm a big operation
and tackle some
at The New School:
build a team
where there was none,
launch a unified brand
position the university
and campus growth,
and keep us
out of trouble.
"Done, done, done, and done!"
Senator Bob Kerrey, President,
The New School,
A native New Yorker, Nancy Donner has spent the better part of her career working to promote education, culture, and the fine and performing arts.
Through DCCS, Nancy Donner has contributed her unique talents in integrated marketing to organizations, large and small, devoted to the social good—including The Century Foundation, a think tank; Reading Reform Foundation, a K-12 educational resource for teachers; Siegelvision, a branding firm led by the champion of “simplicity,” Alan Siegel; and notably, the Ford Foundation, a global support agency for organizations on the frontlines of social change. In the summer of 2013, Nancy’s consulting work for the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) morphed into a full-time position, where for five years, she worked from the inside to improve issues of identity, management, and reputation as Vice President for Communications and Marketing . In May of 2018, her work at NYIT concluded, and she resumed her consulting practice.
Now a pro in academia, as well as cultural, entertainment and mission-driven organizations, higher ed was an industry new to Nancy when, in 2005, she became Vice President for Communications and External Affairs at The New School, where she remained until 2012. She was brought there by President Bob Kerrey during a time of major transition, as the university prepared to announce the change of its name, begin an academic restructuring that required internal and external communications, launch a capital campaign, and refine the campus footprint.
This was a newly created executive position underscoring the university's commitment to institutional branding and visibility, media relations, and promotional outreach. Nancy was also responsible for reevaluating and restructuring the processes by which her staff of 45 served the university and supported its five-year plan of building enrollment, attracting new faculty, and creating increased cross-disciplinary academic opportunities for students.
Nancy Donner came to The New School from The New York Public Library where she was Vice President for Communications and Marketing. In that capacity, it was her responsibility to oversee all public and media relations, internal and external communications, graphic design, and promotional aspects of one of the world's largest not-for-profit institutions.
During her 12 years at the Library, she successfully developed the Library's brand and messaging platform; marketed the Library to targeted stakeholders; and created comprehensive promotion strategies to increase earned income opportunities, visitor attendance, and public awareness of exhibitions, programs, and services. She also directed the overarching visual identity of the Library.
Prior to her tenure at the Library, Nancy Donner was Director of Public Relations at the nation's oldest museum, The New-York Historical Society - known for its superior collections of Tiffany lamps, Hudson River School paintings, the complete works of John James Audubon, and original historical documents, including Napoleon Bonaparte's signed authorization for the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence, and the architectural drawings of McKim, Mead & White, among others.
In her eight years in this capacity, she oversaw the promotion of exhibitions, special events, lectures, concerts, films, and education programs. Nancy also worked closely with the Director and Board of Trustees to see this oft-troubled institution through many crisis situations.
Nancy spent the early years of her career working as an Assistant Unit Manager for ABC-TV, as a Story Editor for an international theatrical producer, and as a publicist for a small literary PR firm. She is a graduate of Brown University and lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, Gary Martin, an interactive multimedia artist.