C.J. Karamargin

Star file photo

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ communications director is expected to leave his job to become a vice chancellor at Pima Community College.

Pima Community College Chancellor Roy Flores  this morning announced that C.J. Karamargin will be vice chancellor for public information and government relations, pending approval by the college’s board of governors.

The board approves the hiring of all college employees and its next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Community/Board Room at PCC’s District Office, 4905 E. Broadway.

The job pays $148,188 annually.

Karamargin has served as communications director for Giffords since 2007. In that role, he served as chief spokesman for the congresswoman and her office. He is expected to comment on his new job this afternoon.

Karamargin has nearly 15 years of experience in print journalism. He is a former political writer for the Arizona Daily Star.

 “C.J. has done a brilliant job throughout his career,” Flores said in a prepared statement. “He brings to the college a rare combination of sensitivity to community needs, excellent communication skills, and deep knowledge of the political processes of Pima County, Arizona and Washington, D.C.”

In addition to working at newspapers in Tucson, Karamargin served as an editor and reporter at the States News Service in Washington, D.C., and was a reporter at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Idaho. He received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and history from the University of Connecticut. He earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Mitchell College in New London, Conn.

Karamargin has been a consistent presence in national and international media in recent months, speaking on behalf of the congresswoman's office after the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13, including Giffords.

Giffords was shot through the brain that day, at a constituent event at a local supermarket, and is rehabilitating in Houston. Her staff members have said the 41-year-old congresswoman is making tremendous progress, and they are hopeful she will return to her political work.

Pima is the college the Jan. 8 shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, once attended. Loughner was suspended by the college Sept. 30 after violating the school's code of conduct by disrupting classes and by posting a rambling YouTube video.

A judge ruled that Loughner's schizophrenia has left him incompetent to stand trial in the Jan. 8 shooting.