My passion is strategic marketing and communications, and my tools have run the gamut. I’ve served in multiple roles throughout my career – executive, director, strategist, editor, manager and instructor. As an executive communications and marketing officer, I draw on my communications background, technical knowledge and core values to drive innovative change. 

My background is rooted in the science of communications and the theories of collaborative leadership and managing complexity. Combining that knowledge with my hands-on skills in marketing, visual communications, journalism and digital strategy, I am a multi-faceted communications and marketing leader – I understand not only the “how,” but the “why.”

My passion is empowering diverse groups to collaborate, be creative, deliver powerful results – and have fun doing it. 

Managing complexity, communicating strategically and leading inclusively

I am able to build and foster teams with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, leveraging their strengths and passions to deliver results. I always see the big picture, and am able to assess organizational needs, set direction, develop a plan, and then inspire a team to follow it. 

Effective collaborative leadership is not about having all the answers or power. Highly skilled and talented experts don’t need me to tell them how to do their work.

Instead, it’s about building purpose, setting direction, and both motivating and equipping them to do the things they already do well. And I do so through transparency, communication and the belief that it is not I who has all the right answers – more often than not, it is them.

I hope to continue empowering teams that inform and inspire the public, and always embark on a journey of growth. I still have much to learn, and I hope to discover more tools to inspire, lead with grace and motivate innovative teams that contribute to the greater good.

Jennifer Judge Hensel, wearing black glasses and a black blazer.

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Who I Am

As Executive Director of Communications & Marketing for the University of Michigan College of Engineering, I lead an award-winning team of passionate writers, designers, photographers, videographers, developers and marketers.

I also recently completed my masters of science at Northwestern University’s School of Communication, where I continued to build my knowledge and competence. This education equipped me for leading a fully-remote team during a time of ongoing crisis.

I am fiercely dedicated to the tenets of diversity, equity and inclusion. As a person with immense privilege, I believe in using that privilege honorably, fostering strategies and teams that help move the needle towards a more equitable society.

In my spare time, I volunteer with local government and political initiatives, train in Kenpo Karate (recently achieved my brown belt), play ukulele with my husband in our homegrown band The Sociables, knit to calm my mind, and enjoy spending time with my two boys.

Friends and colleagues alike sometimes call me JJH. I have opinions – and I’m willing to share them – but I love to hear the perspectives of others and learn more about how individual experiences influence perceptions and actions.

And now, the meat and potatoes of my skills and experience…

I have a proven ability to lead, work with and motivate others, demonstrated through multiple projects and marketing campaigns.


  • Identifying strategies, goals and target audiences to achieve an organization’s vision, mission and strategic objectives
  • Working with leadership and stakeholders to define goals, craft messaging, influence audiences and steward a brand
  • Planning and execution of crisis and issues management communications, including elegant responses to issues and a proactive approach to prevention
  • Crafting and measuring the effectiveness and impact of multi-platform communications and marketing campaigns
  • Delivering elegantly-crafted and engaging presentations and public speeches


  • Hiring, managing, mentoring and leading multiple staffers, including graphic designers, web developers, writers, multimedia producers and digital marketers
  • Enabling team coordination, communication and collaboration across long-term projects involving multiple producers and stakeholders from conception to completion
  • Setting vision, direction and purpose for a team, and defining achievable objectives with key performance indicators
  • Designing and facilitating ideation and collaboration sessions across units and departments for a cohesive result


  • Brand, organizational identity and voice development
  • Qualitative and quantitative research, including surveys, focus groups, interviews, observational studies, and utilizing digital metrics
  • Digital marketing tools, including social ads, Google, and sponsored content
  • Social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and a dash of SnapChat
  • Writing and editing storytelling and marketing content
  • Media relations and press engagement strategies
  • Video and photo production and storytelling
  • Designing presentations and speeches
  • Website & mobile app development, including knowledge of user design, informational architecture, web content, accessibility, search engine optimization, HTML, CSS, WordPress and content management systems
  • Email marketing strategies and design, including MailChimp and drip campaigns
  • Creation of marketing materials and print products, including graphic design skills in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator and knowledge of print production processes and file preparation

What people say about me…

“Jennifer is an AMAZING team leader. She embodies the perfect combination of always being mindful of strategy, collaborative and inclusive, creative and organized. She made sure we were creating high-impact content – that would support our strategic goals. She worked to make sure folks within the office, as well as key players across campus were included as we developed plans. And her natural organizing abilities helped ensure that we delivered stories, magazines, and special projects on time. She is, in short, a creative powerhouse. She is able to create content, develop strategy, work with others and lead a team. It was a complete pleasure to work with Jennifer and I can only hope to work with someone as skilled and talented again in my career.”

Dan Kim, executive communications and marketing leader

“Jennifer is an outstanding leader and a keen communications strategist with a rare mix of competencies. She is trail-blazing and pragmatic, firm and compassionate, prudent and flexible, decisive and open-minded. She sets high bars for her team members, and at the same time, makes sure we have the support and resources we need to do our best work. I’ve known her for almost a decade. First, she was my colleague. For the past four years, I’ve reported to her as a member of her leadership team in the U-M College of Engineering Communications and Marketing Office. In that time, I’ve seen, experienced and learned so much — both from her example and her explicit guidance. Our office is the most collaborative office I’ve ever worked in. While it’s not always easy to invite so many stakeholders and contributors to projects, we’ve seen the pay-off in terms of products that are more widely appreciated and adopted. Also worth noting is Jennifer’s capacity to listen. She listens to hear and appreciates and respects the perspectives of everyone in the office.”

Nicole Casal Moore, media relations and public engagement expert

“Jennifer is an uncommon blend of a creative and an organizer that makes her a pleasure to work with and a tremendous asset on a team. She values new ideas and thinks big, but also helps to make sure none of the essential little details are lost along the way. She has strong leadership skills, is highly competent at tasks both large and small, and is a good colleague.”

Brad Whitehouse, strategic communications manager

“Jennifer is a master project manager and a creative content creator. She knows how to get her team out of their comfort zones in a way that fosters fresh, outside-the-box communications and marketing. She is a strategic risk taker, which is important in an ever evolving digital communication landscape. Her sense of humor and positive energy is contagious. I’ve learned a lot from her and look forward to all the fun, cool projects we’ll get to work on together.”

Ben Logan, creative marketing and content production manager

Awards I am most proud of