Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Mary Larson Diaz named Chief of Staff in the Office of the President

Mary Larson Diaz named Chief of Staff in the Office of the President

Mary Larson Diaz begins her role as Chief of Staff at UTSA on March 5.

(Feb. 27, 2018) -- President Taylor Eighmy today announced the appointment of Mary Larson Diaz as his Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Diaz brings over a decade of experience working directly with university presidents and chancellors as a chief of staff, planning strategist, chief communications officer and executive advisor. She begins her new position on Monday, March 5.

“Mary’s extensive experience and leadership will be tremendous assets, helping us to move forward with our initiatives and realize our vision for UTSA as San Antonio’s university of the future,” said Eighmy. “She has a proven track record of working with presidents to advance the upward trajectory of their institutions, and I am delighted to welcome her to our Roadrunner community.”

Diaz served on the executive leadership teams at several of her past institutions, including the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) where she was Chief of Staff from 2005-2007, and Texas Tech University where she was Associate Vice President for External Relations and Chief Communications Officer from 2009-2012.

More recently, Diaz served as Special Assistant to the President for External Relations at The University of Alabama, and Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas. At earlier points in her career, Diaz worked as a special assistant to Kansas City’s mayor (now U.S. Congressman) Emanuel Cleaver, and in various community affairs roles at Kansas City Power & Light Company.

Currently Diaz is Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Two West Advisors, a financial services firm in Overland Park, Kansas. Her work there involved assisting with the launch of their higher education division and developing partnerships with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and statewide higher education associations.

Diaz’s career distinctions include serving as the presidential representative on committees of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and The Coalition for Urban Serving Universities. Her ability to build relationships within the university community and among local civic leadership has had impactful results, including the creation of Time to Get it Right, a strategic plan for UMKC's role as Kansas City's urban serving university.

As Chief of Staff and a member of Eighmy’s Senior Leadership Team, Diaz will be responsible for overseeing many presidential initiatives, assisting with external relations and directing all administrative and operational activities for the Office of the President.

“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to work with this outstanding team to help bring President Eighmy’s vision to fruition,” said Diaz. “My husband and I look forward to returning to Texas and joining the Roadrunner family.”

While at UMKC Diaz worked under Dr. Guy Bailey—UTSA’s Provost from 1998-2005 and current president of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley—where she first become familiar with UTSA.

“I was fortunate to visit UTSA with Dr. Bailey to see its success first-hand” she said.  “We used UTSA as a model for public/private partnerships, and went on to implement similar partnerships at UMKC, deepening the institution’s role as an urban serving university.”

Diaz holds a Masters of Science in Management from Baker University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Hastings College in Nebraska. She and her husband Paco Diaz have a 21-year old son, Ryan, who is attending college in Kansas City.

- Anne Peters

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