Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Appointment of Vice Chancellors for Communications and Community and Government Relations

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointments of two key leadership positions: Won Ha as vice chancellor for Communications and Francesca Vega as vice chancellor for Community and Government Relations.

Won and Francesca will lead teams that formerly made up the Office of University Relations. As I previously announced, the accelerated growth of the University and its associated community impact highlighted a need to create two robust units – the Office of Communications and the Office of Community and Government Relations. Staff in these two offices will continue to work closely together to strengthen our relationships and to raise the visibility of UCSF’s excellence across our enterprise.

Won Ha joins UCSF from the Energy Foundation, where he is currently vice president of Strategic Communications, setting the strategic vision and communications objectives for policy and public engagement regarding the foundation’s climate change advocacy programs. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Won is deeply rooted in the health care industry, having previously worked at Kaiser Permanente for many years. At Kaiser, he successfully led national issues and brand management for the integrated health care system – hospitals, health plans, and physician groups – in eight states and the District of Columbia. He also advised leadership amid evolving competitive and legislative changes during health care reform and the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Won’s broad experience building and leading strategic communications and managing complex issues in large, decentralized organizations like UCSF positions him well to serve as vice chancellor for Communications. Read more about Won on the UCSF website

Francesca Vega brings extensive experience working at California public universities. She is currently assistant vice president of Government and Community Relations at California State University, Northridge, where she has promoted collaborative efforts between the campus and the greater Los Angeles region, including leading the campus effort around the Measure M transportation ballot initiative, which resulted in a $180 million line item that addressed campus transit needs. This UCSF appointment brings Francesca, who previously served as assistant director in Government and Community Relations at UCLA for five years, back to the University of California. Francesca also serves in several community leadership and mentorship roles, including the City of Los Angeles’ Commission on the Status of Women. Her in-depth knowledge of the complex dynamics of a robust higher education institution make her well-suited for this inaugural vice chancellor position. Read more about Francesca on the UCSF website.

I thank the two search committees that conducted the rigorous national searches as well as the many individuals who actively participated in the efforts to fill these important positions. Nada Hansen and Paul Takayama have my gratitude for their interim leadership since the retirement of former Vice Chancellor Barbara French last month.

Won and Francesca have strong personal commitments to promoting our PRIDE Values, and I am very excited to have these two accomplished leaders join UCSF. Both will begin their new posts on August 26. 

Please join me in welcoming Won Ha and Francesca Vega to the UCSF community.



Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor