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Shantè Palmer to Join Rutgers-Newark as Vice Chancellor for External and Governmental Relations

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 Rutgers University – Newark has announced that Shantè Palmer will become its next Vice Chancellor for External and Governmental relations effective June 7, 2021. An experienced public affairs executive and community advocate, Palmer will work with Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-wide leaders, as well as faculty, staff, and students to develop, implement, and strengthen partnerships with public officials, community organizations, and local residents, especially collective action initiatives reflecting the university’s role as an anchor institution. She will succeed Marcia Wilson Brown, whose retirement was announced by Cantor in April 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shantè into this pivotal role on our team,” said Cantor. “She brings an extraordinary combination of experience from both the public and private sectors that positions her to work in close collaboration with our partners across the city, county, and state. The strong working relationships that Shantè already has developed with many of our partners throughout her career will enable her to hit the ground running as we work together to move the needle on issues from broadening educational pathways and achieving equitable growth, to advancing racial equity and strengthening neighborhoods.”

Over the past decade and a half, Palmer has established herself as one of New Jersey’s most effective builders of relationships to serve the public good. Following a half-dozen years with the National Labor Relations Board at the outset of her career, she served as a staff member to U.S. Senators from New Jersey, from the late Frank R. Lautenberg to Jeff Chiesa and Cory Booker, working on project development in areas from housing and education to faith-based initiatives and economic development. Subsequently, she was appointed Senior Vice President for Business Development at Capital Impact Group, where she emphasized corporate responsibility programs and community engagement. For the past three years, she has been Director of Government Relations at Montclair State University, where she provided strategic direction in the university’s relationships with local, state, and federal governments. Widely recognized for her professionalism and impact, she has earned a place on State Senator Loretta Weinberg’s well-known list of the Powerful Women of New Jersey since 2019.

In her role at Rutgers-Newark, Palmer will serve as one of the chief strategic and administrative officers of the institution and advisor to the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor, engaging community leaders and government officials at every level on behalf of the university while leading pursuit of legislative priorities. In doing so, she will seek to build and strengthen relationships to develop the university’s anchor institution agenda even more fully and purposefully, collaborating with partners from across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to bring the universities intellectual, capital, and human resources to bear on collective public problem solving in Newark and beyond.

An alum of Essex County College and Montclair State University, Palmer already is very familiar with Rutgers-Newark, having earned her Executive Master’s in Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) while also working as a project associate at the Center on Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity..

“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve my alma mater,” said Palmer. “I credit SPAA’s excellent curriculum, faculty, and programs for launching my exciting and challenging tenure in government, private industry, and academic administration.”

Palmer is now eager to leverage her expertise to advance the university’s and community’s collective agenda. “The City of Newark and the Essex County region are part of my history and I look forward to working with those who come to this great city to live, work, play, worship, and, especially to get educated. The university’s massive potential to positively benefit the world with its exceptional diversity and high impact research is what makes it so special and I want generations after me to share that feeling. Today, I am proud to make Rutgers University – Newark my home once again, and hopefully, for many years to come.”