Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., became Shenandoah University’s 16th president on July 1, 2008. She is the institution’s first female president since its founding in 1875. She came to Shenandoah in 2001, as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, became vice president for Academic Affairs in 2002 and was named senior vice president in 2006. She holds a faculty appointment as professor of Political Science. Previously, Dr. Fitzsimmons was a tenured faculty member and faculty leader at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif.
As president of Shenandoah University, she leads an institution of nearly 4,000 students, 900 faculty and staff at its 129-acre site in Winchester, Virginia, and satellite sites in Fairfax, Leesburg, and Loudoun County, Virginia. In September 2010, Shenandoah was accepted as the 14th full member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the first addition to the conference since 1999.
With regional expertise in Latin America, Tracy Fitzsimmons has taught courses on development and disaster relief, world politics, Latin American politics, global democratization, women, and politics in Latin America. Her published research on democratization, civil society, and gender in new civilian police forces has taken her across the world. She has been deeply involved in Haiti for two decades.
Her undergraduate degree in politics is from Princeton University, magna cum laude, and her master’s and doctoral degrees are from Stanford University in, respectively, Latin American studies and political science.
Fitzsimmons serves on the board of directors of Shentel (Shenandoah Telecommunications, Inc.), where she is the Lead Independent Director and the Chair of the Compensation Committee. As past President, she remains very involved at both the Powhatan School and at NAICU (the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities). She also serves on the board of Blue Ridge District BB&T Bank and is a member of GO Virginia (a Virginia initiative for growth and opportunity in each region) and the International Women’s Forum of DC.
She lives in Winchester, Virginia, with her husband, Knox Singleton, thirteen- year-old daughter, Shayla, and eleven-year-old twin sons, Dash and Jag.