Michael Leonard Named McKay School Assistant Dean of External Relations

Leonard brings a strong background in education with experience teaching and directing external relations

Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard has joined the David O. McKay School of Education as assistant dean for external relations. He brings a strong background in education with experience teaching and directing external relations. 

Leonard received his bachelor’s degree from BYU in communications in 1987, and a law degree from BYU in 1992. He then worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, re-opening the Public Affairs office in New York City. He was instrumental in building key relationships for the Church with news media and working with a public relations firm to facilitate media placements. Highlights included a profile on CBS’s 60 Minutes, a cover story in Time magazine, and a Sunday, front-page story in the New York Times. Leonard’s team also organized major events in connection with the United Nations. 

At the University of Northern Colorado, Leonard taught marketing courses and directed external relations at the business school for 10 years. He also served as assistant vice president of university marketing for two years. Most recently he worked for the nonprofit organization Launching Leaders Worldwide, which provides a personal development program teaching leadership principles, and encourages students to embrace their faith. While there, he helped develop the curriculum for the nonprofit, direct their marketing, and establish partnerships with churches and organizations that would use the curriculum. 

Now at BYU, Leonard will oversee public and donor relations, recruitment, and alumni engagement. “Not only does he have the skills, but he’s a delightful person,” said Mary Anne Prater, dean of the McKay School of Education. “We’re excited to learn from him and to make him an integral part of our team.” 

Leonard loves the mission statement of the McKay School, 'We strive to model the attributes of Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, as we prepare professionals who educate with an eternal perspective,' and is most excited to build upon that vision. He said, "I've served in various educational positions, and I see this as the most unique and fulfilling university experience on the planet!"

Writer: Sariah Farmer
Contact: Cynthia Glad 801-422-1922