Randy Massanelli, the Arkansas state director for U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), has been named vice chancellor for governmental relations by University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart, effective July 1.
Richard Hudson, who currently holds the vice chancellor position, is retiring July 31.
“Randy comes to us highly regarded, with a strong track record of accomplishment working with all levels of government and all political parties,” Gearhart said in a press release. “His experience with Arkansas politics will help us not only continue, but deepen, our relationships with our state lawmakers.”
Added Massanelli: “I am proud to be working for my alma mater and am eager to do my best for the university and our state.”
In addition to Massanelli, the other two finalists were:
* Mac Campbell, a former aide to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) and deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee
* Sen. Johnny Key (R-Mountain Home), who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 2003-2009 and in the state Senate since 2009.
Massanelli has been Pryor’s state director since 2002. In that capacity, he is responsible for public affairs, communications and messaging as well as field and outreach activities with constituents.
Prior to that, he served as Pryor’s campaign manager in 2001-2002 and was director of operations for the Arkansas attorney general’s office. Massanelli had an extensive military career in the U.S. Army, earning many honors including the Bronze Star for service in the Persian Gulf War and numerous service and commendation medals. He is a UA graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration.
Of the 33 total applicants for the position, five were invited to campus to interview with the search committee, and three were chosen from among that group as finalists.