Franciscan University Appoints Heather Ulrey to New 
Position of VP of Strategic Alliances
Former Executive at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Begins 
New Position August 27
August 13, 2018

STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Franciscan University of Steubenville announced today the appointment of Heather Ulrey as vice president of Strategic Alliances.

Ulrey brings nearly 20 years of leadership experience in industry, healthcare, and corporate government relations to the newly created University position. In her role, Ulrey will be the University’s senior executive engaging constituents in higher education, industry, and government for the purpose of establishing alliances.

“We are excited to welcome Heather Ulrey to Franciscan University,” said Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University. “Her vast experience in external affairs equips her to advance the mission of Franciscan University through strategic alliances in ways that benefit a wide range of constituents. Her work will significantly advance the development of the University’s 20-year vision.”

Ulrey sees herself primarily as a person who convenes leaders from a multitude of sectors around ideas that are difficult to address individually but can be solved by working together. Franciscan University, which has grown from a small regional college to become one of the leading Catholic universities in the United States, has been enriched by numerous alliances.

“I am humbled by this opportunity to unite my years of experience in external relations with my passion for the Catholic Church. I look forward to being a part of the Franciscan family and helping to advance the University’s 20-year vision,” said Ulrey.

Among her duties, Ulrey will work to advance the University’s priorities by building educational, industry, corporate, and government partnerships to stimulate academic excellence, economic development, multidisciplinary research, and innovation.

Additionally, Ulrey will develop partnerships to expand the work of University institutes and research centers, such as the Franciscan Institute for Science and Health, Franciscan Institute for World Health, and the Center for Bioethics, among others.

For the last seven years, Ulrey was the administrative director of External Relations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), Columbus, Ohio, the largest free-standing pediatric hospital and pediatric research center in the United States.

In an increasingly complex healthcare environment, Ulrey successfully led the hospital’s efforts to achieve beneficial public policies for NCH in regard to Medicaid and other forms of federal appropriations and financing, including research funding. She also represented NCH before government officials in Washington, D.C., and at the state and local levels on a wide range of healthcare concerns and developed impactful partnerships for the hospital.

Previously, Ulrey was government affairs manager for Limited Brands (now L Brands), a Fortune 500 company based in Columbus, Ohio, where she directed the firm’s position on key legislative initiatives at the federal, state, and local level.

Ulrey began her career in government relations in Washington, D.C., with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) where she took on many duties to support the goals of small businesses before federal and state agencies.

She graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, with a degree in East Asian studies and a minor in political science, which included a semester of study in political theory at Lancaster University in England.

She has served on the national board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and volunteered with the CHOSEN teen faith formation program and other parish renewal programs at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Sunbury, Ohio. Heather and her husband, Matt, are the proud parents of six girls.

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