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Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer

Martin Shell

Martin W. Shell is Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer at Stanford University. He leads the offices of Community and Culture, Community Engagement, Development, Government Affairs, Special Events and Protocol, and University Communications. He aligns the work of Stanford’s externally facing teams to design, implement and maintain strategies for service and engagement regionally, nationally, and globally, including collaboration with local partners to address sustainability, affordability, and other challenges specific to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

Prior to this position, Martin was Vice President for Development for 13 years, during which time Stanford raised more than $12.5 billion in cash or cash equivalents. Martin joined Stanford in 1998 as Senior Associate Dean for External Relations and was later appointed COO at Stanford Law School, before joining the central office of development as Associate Vice President.

He also served as the executive vice chair and lead staff member to "The Stanford Challenge," the university's $4.3 billion fundraising effort launched in October 2006. "The Stanford Challenge" ended in December 2011, securing $6.2 billion in gifts and pledges from nearly 167,000 households-at the time it represented the largest overall dollar amount ever raised in a five-year public campaign period by an institution of higher education.

For 10 years, Shell was a member of the Development Committee of the American Bar Association's Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and served as the committee co-chair from 2001-2003. In 2003 he co-chaired the Section's Jackson Hole Conference for Law School Deans and Development Officers. He currently serves as a trustee of his alma mater, Hendrix College, and is a former CASE Trustee. He has served as a trustee of the Castilleja School in Palo Alto and the Oakland-based NGO, Coaching Corps. He also holds the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Shell has been an advancement officer for more than 30 years serving institutions of higher education in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and California. In addition to this work, he also was an executive with a public utility company, a press secretary to a U.S. representative, and a newspaper reporter.