Susan Norton hired as new communications director in Fayetteville

Susan Norton / Courtesy

Fayetteville has a new head of communications.

Officials today announced Susan Norton was recently hired as Communications & Marketing Director. She replaces Lindsley Smith, who retired last month.

Norton has served as Director of Technology, Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Executive Director of Information Systems for Fayetteville Public Schools since 2001.

Under her leadership, the school district was awarded the Digital Schools Survey Award for seven consecutive years and its website also received a 2013 A+ Sunny Award by the Sunshine Review for transparency and public interaction. In addition to directing daily website and social media communications, Norton was responsible for the development of the district’s media and television production services, working with the City of Fayetteville to establish the Education Channel as one of the city’s Public, Education, and Government (PEG) channels to broadcast student programming, sports programs, school events, and school board meetings.

In her new role for the city she will guide the Communications, Marketing, and Volunteer Services and Media Services Department. The department manages public communication and promotes citizen involvement, including overseeing the Fayetteville Television Center, content management for the city’s internet and intranet websites, and community outreach and information efforts. Norton will coordinate communication with the public, including FOIA requests, and will serve as primary liaison with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Public Schools, and outside media outlets.

Norton has served the city in various volunteer positions, including a four-year term as chair of the Telecommunications Board. She has also served as co-chair of the Fayetteville Forward Economic Development Accountability Council.

Norton also worked for the State of Arkansas as Director of the State Office of Information Technology and as Associate Director of Computing Services for the University of Arkansas. Her career spans a total of 33 years in government positions.

“We are so excited to have Susan join our team,” said Don Marr, chief of staff. “Her knowledge of the city, our Fayetteville Public School District, the University of Arkansas, and the state government of Arkansas will be valuable to serving the citizens of our great city. Susan’s commitment to open and transparent government combined with her dedication to customer service, in a long and stellar career of public service, makes her a great choice for this position.”

A 42-year resident of Fayetteville, Norton earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Arkansas.

“I understand Fayetteville, its government, and its priorities,” said Norton. “I am with Mayor Jordan every time he pronounces, ‘I love this city!’ and I consider it the highest honor to serve my city after a career in public service with the University of Arkansas, the State of Arkansas, and the Fayetteville Public School System.”

Norton begins work Monday, June 8. Her annual salary is $80,017.60.