Kathleen Shields Anderson: Vice President of Public Safety | #College. | #Students

Kathleen Shields Anderson: Vice President of Public Safety

Kathleen Shields Anderson was appointed Vice President of Public Safety, effective June 1, 2022.

Ms. Shields Anderson 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 of the Penn Police Department; serving as a 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.

Since January, Ms. Shields Anderson has served as Interim Vice President of Public Safety (Almanac December 14, 2021). Through her command of this role and her work at Penn over the past 10 years, she has skillfully demonstrated her ability to effectively lead and manage the division, consistent with Penn’s larger culture, goals, and aspirations. She 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.

Her appointment represents the first non-sworn leader of the Division of Public Safety since its formation in the mid-1990s. In a very strong and competitive pool, Ms. Shields Anderson emerged as the right leader for Penn’s Division of Public Safety.

As the Vice President of Public Safety, Ms. Shields Anderson will ensure a positive campus experience for Penn’s diverse and learning-focused community. She will work to maintain an inclusive educational and working environment that fosters collaborative relationships with students, faculty, and staff. She will also provide comprehensive vision, strategic leadership, and effective management for fire and emergency services; the Penn Police Department; PennComm and emergency communications; security services; security technology; special services; and finance and administration. Furthermore, she will focus on implementing best practices in her field; prioritizing prevention and community caretaking; using procedural justice initiatives to guarantee impartiality, transparency, fairness, respect, and dignity; and serving as Penn’s liaison to external law enforcement agencies, neighborhood security associations, and other external entities on public safety and emergency response issues.

Before joining Penn, she served as 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.

Ms. Shields Anderson earned her BA from the College of the Holy Cross; her JD from Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law; and her MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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