New Chief of Staff appointed for MU’s Office of the President

Shelli Dronsfield appointed as new Chief of Staff in Marymount University's Office of the President


Shelli Dronsfield, a longtime administrator and leader in higher education, has been appointed as Marymount University’s new Chief of Staff within the Office of the President. She will begin her duties on Friday, July 30.

In this role, Dronsfield will assist in providing leadership and oversight for the University’s day-to-day functions. As Chief of Staff, she will partner with administrators, faculty and staff members to develop strategy to meet organizational goals and advance Marymount’s mission while handling complex situations and multiple responsibilities simultaneously.

“During the search process, my team was tremendously impressed with Shelli’s experience in executive-level administrative positions and her resourceful ability to impact change across large organizations,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “We are looking forward to bringing her on board and adding her results-driven track record and leadership to our University’s administrative team.”

“Throughout the interview process for the Chief of Staff position, I recognized what a special place Marymount University is and how its vibrant culture allows students, faculty and staff to excel in all of their endeavors,” Dronsfield said. “The opportunity to join this unique community and contribute to advancing President Becerra’s vision for Marymount’s future was something I had to be a part of, and I’m excited for what’s next.”

Most recently, she served as Executive Assistant to the President and CEO/Board Liaison for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, where she managed workflow in the areas of communications, project management and constituent relations. Prior to that position, Dronsfield served as Director of Communications for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, overseeing key internal and external messaging on behalf of the coordinating body for the state’s four-year higher education system.

Her broad experience at higher education institutions also includes seven years at Shepherd University as Chief of Staff/Assistant to the President, where she advised the President and Executive Staff colleagues on issues related to campus culture, public relations and communications strategies, community relations, legislative affairs on the local, state and federal levels and resource allocation. Key accomplishments she achieved during her tenure include the completion of a $5.65 million pedestrian underpass, the attainment of a $798,000 grant to increase degree completion among adults with prior college credits and the creation of Shepherd’s first New Employee Orientation program for staff.

Dronsfield has also held positions as Assistant to the President at Trinity University and Special Assistant to the Vice President/University Secretary at Duke University.

“I am gratified by the diversity of experiences I have had and the many mentors and colleagues who have contributed to my abilities and effectiveness as a higher education administrator,” she explained. “I look forward to bringing the culmination of these skills, experiences and resources to my role as Marymount University’s Chief of Staff.”

Outside of higher education, Dronsfield has demonstrated community outreach skills in positions such as Strategic Initiatives Director for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, Community Development Coordinator for the City of Hagerstown, Md., Events Manager for the Durham Arts Council in North Carolina, Communications Coordinator for North Carolina Community Shares and Assistant Executive Director for the Montgomery County Agricultural Center in Gaithersburg, Md.

Dronsfield holds a master’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from West Virginia University, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Hood College.