Skip to main content

Alison M. Gross

Pronouns: She/Her

Alison is NORC’s brand steward and leads our corporate communications strategy.

As vice president of Strategic Communications & External Affairs, Alison manages the department’s day-to-day operations and leads NORC’s corporate communications practice, including digital engagement, content and publications, corporate identity and brand management, conference strategy and management, and internal communications.

Since 2010, Alison has helped build NORC’s communications function from a two-person operation to a multidisciplinary team that effectively serves our growing organization and varied clients and research needs. During her career at NORC, Alison has collaborated on NORC’s rebranding (twice), and new company website and intranet; managed media inquiries, and internal and external events; led the team that created and published our annual reports—including the transition to a digital report, and our anniversary books; and was part of the core team that helped the organization navigate through the COVID19 pandemic. Alison is known for activating and connecting people and resources, creative problem-solving, her passion for nurturing and protecting NORC’s brand, and her ability to get the job done.

Alison’s background includes 20 years in sales and marketing at Random House, where she worked with high-profile authors and brands like Martha Stewart, Deepak Chopra, Suzi Orman, Suzanne Somers, Ina Garten, and the Kovels Antique Guides and served as publisher of Fodor’s Travel Publications, she then left NYC for Chicago to join a restaurant start-up as VP of Marketing. There, she helped build the brand and managed in-store displays, promotions, and local partner-marketing efforts.

Alison made the move to the nonprofit world when she joined Science Chicago, a two-year grant-funded project based at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. The program was designed to elevate and educate science and technology in the Chicago area among students and their families. As director, Alison led the advertising, public relations, and promotions teams, helped create messaging and branding, drafted reports to the board of advisors, wrote speeches, and used communications to engage and connect hundreds of community-based science programs, teachers, and museum educators to each other, resources, and families across the Chicago area.



Mount Holyoke College