Skip to content

James Kempster

Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Jim Kempster, Vice President for Communications and Marketing
My LinkedIn Profile
Pratt's Communications and Marketing Division
James J. Kempster Named Pratt’s First Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Jim Kempster was appointed Pratt Institute’s first Vice President for Communications and Marketing in February 2019, following six months’ service as Pratt’s Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement. He joined the Institute in January 2018 after three decades in communications and marketing for secondary and higher education.

“We have an opportunity to build a collaborative communications and marketing model here at Pratt unlike any I have experienced before in my career, because our faculty, students, staffs, and alumni community is engaged in design and storytelling in everything they do,” Jim noted in his initial plan for Pratt’s Communications and Marketing division. “Partnering with our colleagues to promote their students and programs, to co-own the Institute’s brand, and to develop effective new communications channels will make this team’s work so much richer, innovative, and supportive to the Institute.”

Additionally, Jim helps ensure the Institute’s reputation and wellbeing through critical communications and crisis planning. He he is the primary writer for critical and presidential communications. Jim serves on the president’s senior staff, the provost’s council, the accreditation steering committee, the accessibility and the diversity, equity and inclusion committees, and the development and communications committee of the board of trustees, and he regularly participate in first-generation and LGBTQ+ student activities.

Before coming to Pratt, Jim was Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Brown University in Providence, RI. During his three and a half decades in New York City, he has spent five years as Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Fordham University, where he developed the department’s collaborative workflows and spearheaded the launch of a new, fully responsive website, email communications, and related social media. Prior to that, he also served in communications and leadership roles at Union Theological Seminary in New York; Brooklyn Law School; and The Town School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he also taught. Jim began his career in education as head of the fine arts department at DeSmet High School in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he taught studio art and theater.

Originating from Kansas City, Missouri, Jim holds a master of fine arts degree in painting from the School of Visual Arts, New York, as well as two master’s degrees in theology and the arts from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California. He earned a bachelor of science degree in philosophy and letters at Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, combined with minors in fine art, theater, and English literature. He has freelanced as an illustrator, writer, designer and photographer for print and web. He and his husband Robert Loncar are grateful to be integral parts of their beloved City of New York, where they have lived since 1989, and the lively arts and education community at Pratt.

School of Visual Arts, New York: M.F.A. – Painting, 1992; Faculty Merit Scholarship, 1991-1992
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA: M.Div., 1988; M.Th. (Fine Arts), 1990
Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO: B.S. – Philosophy & Letters, 1982; Minors – Fine Art, Theater, English & Literature
Summer Programs in Fine Art: Yale University, 1986; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1982


Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Vice President for Communications and Marketing
February 2019 – Present
Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement
July 2018 – January 2019
Executive Director of Communications
January 2018 – January 2019

Brown University, Providence, RI
Assistant Vice President for Marketing Communications
February 2016 – December 2017

Fordham University, NY, NY
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
March 2011 – February 2016

Union Theological Seminary, NY, NY
Director of Communications
October 2006 – March 2011

Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY
Communications Web Developer
November 2001 – October 2006

The Town School, NY, NY
Associate Director of Development/Director of Publications
August 1992 to August 1998
Digital Curriculum Coordinator & Teacher
August 1998 to August 2001

De Smet High School, St. Louis, MO
Fine Arts Department Coordinator and Teacher
September 1982 – June 1985

Select Exhibitions

2005 – Clamp Art, New York, NY (Group)
2004 – Uzi NY Gallery, New York, NY (Solo)
2001 – Leslie-Lohman, Annual Group Photo Show, New York, NY (Group)
1994 – Organization of Independent Artists’ Salon, New York, NY (Group)
1993 – Sauce Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (Group)
1993 – Tribeca Lab, New York, NY (Group)
1992 – Rosenburg Gallery, New York, NY (Group)
1992 – Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY (Group)
1991 – Rosenburg Gallery, New York, NY (Group)
1991 – Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY (Group)
1988 – P.S.R. Gallery, Berkeley, CA (Group)
1996 – Alma Gallery, Berkeley, CA (Group)
1982 – J. Hall Gallery, St. Louis, MO (Solo)
1981 – MacNamee Gallery, St. Louis, MO (Group)

Permanent Installation
Window and wall reliefs, Boian Chapel, De Smet High School, St. Louis, MO