Vice President for Communications
Ben Jones '96 was appointed VP for Communications in 2008, and immediately began implementing a new campus-wide communications strategy focused on authenticity and transparency across all media. Jones is a nationally recognized expert on social media and online community-building; his pioneering work at MIT in unfiltered primary source-driven content was featured on the front page of the New York Times in 2009.
Under his leadership, the Office of Communications has added dedicated positions in social media, video production, internal communications, and graphic design to its web, publications, editorial, and media relations divisions. Jones also created two fellowship positions for recent Oberlin graduates and expanded the number of current students employed by the office to almost fifty, in order to be as inclusive as possible in telling the Oberlin story.
Prior to his appointment at Oberlin, Jones served for four years as Director of Communications in the MIT Office of Admissions. At MIT, he developed a communications plan and admissions web community (mitadmissions.org) that has been cited nationally as the gold standard in admissions communications. During his tenure, MIT's applications increased 28 percent.
Previously, Jones was a founder and partner at Blue Coda Inc., a web strategy firm whose clients include Harvard, MIT, and Boston University. He served as a director of design and production for About.com, and also directed the online version of The American Prospect (the liberal politics magazine founded by Oberlin alumnus Robert Kuttner) for several years.
As a student at Oberlin, Jones was a double major in English and environmental studies, vice president of his senior class, a senior intern in the admissions office, head manager of the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse, and an a capella singer.
Jones is proud to serve on the Community Advisory Board of Ideastream, the Communications & Marketing committee of Kendal at Oberlin, and the Core Planning committee of the Oberlin Project.
In his spare time, Jones enjoys spending time with his wife Tanya Rosen-Jones '97 and their two sons, writing and playing music, cooking, bartending, and gardening.