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Appointment of Kathleen Shields Anderson as Vice President for Public Safety

Kathleen Shields Anderson, JD, MBA, has been appointed Vice President for Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kathleen joined Penn in 2012 as Executive Director of Operations and Chief of Staff. In this position, she was responsible for, among other priorities, supporting the Vice President in the management of seven departments; acting as Public Information Officer for the Penn Police Department; serving as liaison with other Penn offices and divisions; and overseeing compliance with federal, state, and local crime reporting data and policy requirements under Clery, Title IX and the Uniform Crime Reporting Act.

Prior to joining Penn, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. In this role, she was part of a team that designed and implemented new “charging protocols,” including the creation of arrest diversion programs and review of appropriate charging levels for criminal prosecutions. Kathleen earned her B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross; her J.D. from Villanova University Charles Widner School of Law; and her M.B.A. from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Senior Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli stated in his announcement, “I am delighted to share that Kathleen Shields Anderson has been appointed as Penn’s Vice President for Public Safety (VPPS) following a national search.  In a very strong and competitive pool, Kathleen clearly emerged as the right leader for Penn’s Division of Public Safety. Kathleen’s appointment represents the first non-sworn leader of the Division of Public Safety since its formation in the mid-1990s….Kathleen is a strong collaborator across Penn, and she looks forward to deeper relationships there and across the Health System.  One of her first priorities will be to commence the search for the University’s Chief of Police.”

About the role of Vice President for Public Safety:

In support of a positive campus experience for Penn’s diverse and learning-focused community, the VPPS ensures an inclusive educational and working environment that fosters collaborative relationships with students, faculty, and staff. The VPPS also provides comprehensive vision, strategic leadership, and effective management for the following: fire and emergency services; the Penn Police Department; PennComm and emergency communications; security services; security technology; special services; and finance and administration. Furthermore, the VPPS focuses on implementing best practices in their field; prioritizing prevention and community caretaking; utilizing procedural justice initiatives to ensure organizational impartiality, transparency, fairness, respect, and dignity; and serving as the University’s representative with external law enforcement agencies, neighborhood security associations, and other external entities on public safety and emergency response issues.


Photo credit: Eric Sucar, University Communications