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Caroline (Dulin) Shaw, BA ’83, MA ’85, grew up in 15 countries living with her father, a military attaché, and her mother, who was a teacher, principal, and international educator. Later Shaw served seven years as a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the U.S. Mission at the United Nations. This heavy international background isn’t typical for a vice president of communications for a National Basketball Association team.

But the background helps Shaw as a vice president with the Utah Jazz because, in a quirk of fate, a record 79 active international players had flooded the NBA as of late January. “Ironically, we’re the second most international team in the league after San Antonio,” Shaw says. “Half our team comes from overseas so I relate very well to them.

“In the elevator on our recent road trip I was talking to Gordon Giracek, who is from Croatia” she adds. I spent a lot of time in Dubrovnik in Croatia….We talked about the war, the rebuilding of Dubrovnik. That’s an insight that I imagine very few vice presidents can offer their players.“Mehmet Okur is our new center from Turkey, where my husband and I honeymooned and lived. Mehmet brought his new wife here, and she doesn’t speak any English,” says Shaw, who speaks three languages and a smattering of others. “I brought her into my office showed her a photo on my desk of my husband and me at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. It brought a large smile to her face.”

Conversations such as these are part of Shaw’s effort to get good community and media exposure for the Jazz and team owner Larry Miller’s sports and entertainment group. Shaw, whose bachelor’s degree is in journalism and master’s degree is in international affairs, fills her vice president’s role at breakneck speed. She typically works 60 hours a week and another 10 hours at Jazz home games.

On the day of home games she arrives at the team’s Delta Center Arena at 8:30 a.m. She checks messages while her staff prepares press information packets on the evening’s game. Then she visits team practice to talk to reporters and bring them players for interviews.

After practice she works again in her office. At the time of this interview she was promoting a concert in the Delta Center, preparing a budget for a minor league baseball team Miller had just purchased, and explaining to a newspaper food editor how the arena feeds 19,000 fans each game.

In late afternoon she returns to the arena floor for the teams’ pre-game shoot-around, assisting as players or team representatives talk to groups of fans. Then she eats in the press dining room, talking to and helping reporters.

During the game she answers more questions from journalists while her staff provides scoring summaries at the end of every quarter. Ten minutes after the game she opens the locker room to the press, and at about 10:30 p.m. her 14-hour day ends.

Shaw says she gets about three full days off during the basketball season, but she manages to ski every weekend with her husband and six-year-old twins.

On weekends when there are basketball games, “Sometimes we’re running late because of extra traffic and I’m changing in the car and running into the arena at 5 o’clock for a seven o’clock game,” she says. “The media is used to it. They joke that I’ve got the raccoon eyes [from wearing ski goggles] and I’m wearing a pony tail.

“I guess I thrive on the hectic schedule,” she says. “I like to have a lot of balls in the air and make sure they’re all where they need to be…But it’s very important to take time off,” says Shaw, who takes two weeks of vacation and sporadic days off in the off season.

Shaw consistently has held high-level jobs. After graduating from GW, she served from 1987 to 1994 as a U.S. spokesperson at the embassy in Israel and the United Nations.

In 1997, she changed pace. The skiing devotee moved to Salt Lake City to direct public relations and marketing for two ski resorts. She got married and started a family. “I wanted to get out of the rat race, she says. I did that for few years. I had two beautiful children then realized I missed being in the thick of it.”

She re-entered the mix from 1999 to 2002 as chief communications officer for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She then started a communications consulting firm before joining the Jazz in March 2004.

Shaw says GW provided great preparation for her peripatetic career. “I remember how vibrant the school was,” she says, “being right near the State Department and having the White House a few blocks away. I remember going to class one day and learning that President Reagan had been shot and hearing the motorcade zip by as they rushed him to GW Hospital. You wouldn’t get things like that anywhere else in the world.”

—Gary Libman

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