Dave Lavallee

As the assistant director of communications at the University of Rhode Island, Dave Lavallee serves as chief public information officer/media spokesman for URI’s COVID-19 Task Force, Department of Public Safety, and Division of Student Affairs, including URI Health Services and the Dean of Students Office. He fields calls from the news media during a variety of crises and does interviews; responds to queries about admission, enrollment, student conduct, and construction projects; coordinates media requests for subject matter experts; oversees one part-time and two full-time public information/media relations officers; and runs the department’s intern program. Dave also writes press releases and critical internal community notices dealing with crises, policy changes, personnel, and construction projects.

Dave received URI Police Department, Interdepartmental Commendation, Community Member of the Year Award in 2016 (first recipient) and the Engaged URI Faculty, Staff or Department Award from the URI Feinstein Civic Engagement Program the same year. Before his URI career, which began in 1994, Dave was co-winner of the New England Associated Press News Executives Thomas K. Brindley Public Service Award and winner of the group’s first-place award for General News Story in 1994 for his work on a public health crisis while at The Newport Daily News. He also won two first-place Rhode Island Press Association awards for Best Investigative/Analytical News Story.

Dave earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1979 and a master’s degree in public administration in 1987, both from URI. He attended the Connecticut Regional Public Information Officer Conference, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Haven Office, and was certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency/Texas A&M University System in Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education and Public Information in WMD/Terrorism Incident.