Doke joins medical center as head of communications

By Kristen Holland Shear and Lin Lofley

Tim Doke, who led the communications function at American Airlines for more than a decade, has been named vice president for communications, marketing and public affairs at UT Southwestern.

Mr. Doke will oversee the offices of News and Publications, Clinical Marketing, Design Services, Biomedical Arts and Web Services.

“Tim Doke has a proven track record in developing and implementing communications strategies for some of the world’s biggest brands,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern. “His input will be key as we work to build on the remarkable accomplishments made since UT Southwestern was established nearly 65 years ago.”

  Tim Doke

Mr. Doke said he looks forward to elevating
UT Southwestern’s profile with precise and effective messaging, especially focused on improving internal communications and driving more robust marketing efforts to support the institution’s clinical programs.

“Our challenge is to find new and engaging ways to use all the media at our disposal to tell the UT Southwestern story to all the audiences who need to hear it, both here and abroad,” he said. “And we have incredibly compelling stories to tell.”

During his 30-year career, Mr. Doke held the senior communications position and developed successful communications strategies and branding campaigns for several Fortune 500 companies, including Fort Worth-based American Airlines, Brinker International, Dell, Freescale Semiconductor and dozens of large corporate clients of the international PR firm Hill & Knowlton.

In recognition of his work at American in the days and months following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he received the 2002 Public Relations Society of America’s PR Professional of the Year award.

“The events of 9/11 were such an anomaly that no amount of advance planning could have prepared us for the unthinkable,” he said. “We certainly never contemplated that our airplanes would be used as armed missiles to attack our own country.”

After receiving a degree in political science and communications at the University of Central Missouri and completing a year of law school at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr. Doke recognized the growing influence that communicators would have with the proliferation of media vehicles as a new information age unfolded.

Over the next 30 years, he built a career in politics, government, public relations and advertising agencies, corporate communications, branding and marketing — and even academia in his very first job as manager of the university news bureau at his alma mater.

Following a successful tech venture in Austin, Mr. Doke realized he had the flexibility to leave the corporate world and apply his experiences to benefit nonprofit organizations, most recently as chief marketing officer for Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure. He is actively involved with numerous civic boards, including St. Paul Medical Foundation, TACA, the Dallas Symphony Association and the AFI Dallas Film Festival.

Mr. Doke said his passion for communications is rooted in the ancient art of storytelling, which is older even than the development of language.

“Storytelling has for centuries been how people share information and inspire others,” he said. 

“We simply need to realize that all communications is storytelling — whether it’s done via internal, external, marketing, Web or other formal or informal vehicles — and that we all can be actively engaged in telling the UT Southwestern story.”