ST. LOUIS, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) today announced that Russ Lorince has joined Arch Coal as vice president of external affairs for the company's eastern region, effective Jan. 7. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120727/CG47668LOGO) Lorince will help lead the company's efforts across a wide range of external affairs functions, including state government affairs, community relations and regional communications. He will report to Deck S. Slone, senior vice president of strategy and public policy. "We are very pleased to have Russ join the Arch team," said Slone. "With his strong ties to West Virginia and the region, his extensive energy background, and his exceptional communications skills, Russ will be a great asset and a great company representative. We look forward to working closely with Russ in ways that benefit all of our stakeholders throughout the region." Prior to joining Arch, Lorince served as director of economic development at West Virginia University, a role he assumed in December 2002. Before joining WVU, he worked with Allegheny Energy for 25 years, ending with the position of director of state affairs. Lorince has held a variety of managerial positions in economic development, corporate affairs and government relations involving activity in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Lorince currently chairs TechConnect WV and serves on the boards of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Vision Shared Inc., the Monongalia County Development Authority, the Morgantown Area Economic Partnership and Mylan Park. He previously served as president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association and the West Virginia Economic Development Council. A native of Morgantown, W.Va., Lorince is a graduate of West Virginia University. He will be based at Arch's regional office in Morgantown. U.S.-based Arch Coal is a top five global coal producer and marketer. Arch is the most diversified American coal company, with mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. Its core business is supplying cleaner-burning, low-sulfur thermal and metallurgical coal to power generators and steel manufacturers on five continents.