Heather C. Swain

Heather C. Swain
  • Vice President for Marketing, Public Relations and Digital Strategy
  • Olds Hall
  • 408 W. Circle Drive Room 405
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 355-2262


As vice president for marketing, PR and digital strategy, Heather C. Swain is responsible for MSU’s branding, marketing, strategic public relations, digital and insights and analytics functions. She has worked in higher education for more than two decades and in senior leadership positions for more than 15 years.

Swain oversaw development of the university’s Spartans Will campaign, and under her leadership MSU's communications work has been recognized with numerous awards, including Tellys, Emmys and Addys, as well as top recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Swain received the American Marketing Association Higher Education Marketer of the Year Award in 2016.

Prior to joining MSU in 2006 as assistant vice president for university relations, Swain spent six years as the senior communications officer at Ball State University where she led a major rebranding tied to the institution’s strategic planning and governmental relations efforts. Swain also spent five years at Indiana University Bloomington in a variety of communications roles, culminating in the position of associate director for university-wide marketing in which she worked with IU campuses across the state.

Swain has served as co-chair of the American Marketing Association Symposium for Higher Education and a member of the CASE Commission on Communications and the Public Affairs Committee of the Association of American Universities. She is a board member for Futurity, a multimedia consortium of more than 60 leading research universities from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia, and The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public.

Swain received her bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William & Mary and completed the postgraduate Educational Management program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.