Middleton Named Chief External Affairs Officer

Published on August 19, 2015

Kristi Runyon Middleton is coming home.

The Richmond native has been named chief external affairs officer at Eastern Kentucky University.

A familiar face to many central Kentuckians, Middleton brings extensive experience in commercial media and higher education to her new position. From 1999 through 2011, she was an Emmy Award-winning anchor/reporter with WTVQ-TV in Lexington. Since 2011, she has served as public relations/crisis communications manager with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and the Kentucky Board of EMS.

Among other duties at Eastern, she will direct media relations and strategic communication strategies, oversee emergency communications plans and serve as the University’s principal spokesperson.

“As a Richmond native I have so many fond memories of EKU, and I am excited to have the opportunity to spread the word about the great things the University offers students, faculty and staff and this region,” Middleton said. “I know EKU is a special place, and I’m excited to help share its story.”

Middleton was anchor and segment producer for the morning and midday broadcasts at WTVQ. She also received more than a dozen professional honors from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists and frequently served as a presenter, guest speaker or emcee for numerous organizations and events, including the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

As co-chair of the KCTCS crisis management team, Middleton prepared crisis communication plans and led media and crisis communications training for system employees. She also served as project manager for public relations and strategic communications plans for internal and external audiences, coordinated news conferences, responded to media requests, and produced promotional and informational written, photo and video content.

She has also been active in community affairs, including a term as vice president of the Kentucky Junior Miss/Distinguished Young Women of Kentucky Board (she is a former Madison County Junior Miss and Kentucky Junior Miss scholastic/talent award winner), and service with the United Way Board of the Bluegrass Board of Trustees, the Lexington School Board of Trustees and the Fayette County Public Schools Eastside Technical Center Advisory Council.  She is also active in her church.

The 1995 Madison Central High School honors graduate and Commonwealth Diploma recipient went on to graduate summa cum laude from Western Kentucky University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and minor in Spanish.

While with KCTCS, Middleton earned a certification in crisis communications from the Institute for Crisis Management in Louisville and received additional training as a public information officer from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.

She and her husband Jervis are the parents of twin boys, Jordan and Kristian