Merri Jo Bales

Merri Jo  Bales
  • Vice President and Strategic Director of University Communications
  • Olds Hall
  • 408 W. Circle Drive Room 403
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 884-8883


Merri Jo Bales was named vice president and strategic director of University Communications at MSU in November 2018. In this role, Bales directs a strategic, coordinated and proactive approach to communications and public relations, overseeing the work of two teams, Marketing, Public Relations and Digital Strategy, and Media and Public Information.

Bales recently completed a 27-year career with Consumers Energy where she ultimately was responsible for establishing, expanding and aligning the strategy function and for executive communication. Prior to joining Consumers Energy, Merri Jo was executive director of the Michigan Sesquicentennial, the commemoration of Michigan’s 150th anniversary of statehood.

During her career, Bales has gained extensive experience in public relations, internal communication, media relations and crisis communication, as well as strategic planning and major program development.

A 1977 graduate of MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Bales is among the college’s Distinguished Alumni and has served on the executive board for the MSU International Alumni Association and the ComArtSci alumni board.