Mary Osako, the first person to lead UCLA’s communications and marketing efforts as a vice chancellor, has been selected as a member of the 2021 class of PRWeek’s Hall of Femme. The public relations publication annually honors inspiring women who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues for setting the bar higher within their organizations, epitomizing best practices in the public relations industry and acting as role models for the next wave of leaders.
Osako, who has served as vice chancellor since September 2019, oversees communications, media relations, brand marketing, strategic insights and the UCLA Content Studio, and helps maintain and enhance UCLA’s reputation as U.S News & World Report’s No. 1–ranked public university.
A Los Angeles native and UCLA alumna, Osako has more than 20 years of experience leading complex communications efforts at some of the most innovative Fortune 500 companies in the world. She is well-versed in all facets of communications, reputation management and brand marketing, encompassing media relations, crisis communications, public affairs, executive communications, events and social and digital marketing.
Previously, Osako served as chief communications officer of Activision Blizzard, head of global corporate communications at Amazon and vice president of corporate, international and public policy communications at Yahoo!. Immediately prior to joining UCLA, she was a partner and chief operating officer at Haven Tower Group, a leading strategic communications and marketing firm based in Santa Monica that serves corporate clients across the country, where she currently now serves as vice chair of the firm’s board of advisers.
Osako also serves on the board of directors of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a specialization in Asian American studies from UCLA in 1996.