Adrienne J. McNeil-Washington, the former vice president and chief operating officer of the United Way of Lancaster County, has been named Lehigh’s assistant vice president of Community Relations. McNeil-Washington steps into the role previously held by Dale Kochard, who retired earlier this year.
Fred McGrail, vice president of University Communications and Public Affairs, said McNeil-Washington is uniquely qualified for the role of building on Lehigh’s work in engaging with the community.
“Adrienne’s breadth of experience and her commitment to developing relationships to build stronger communities are truly impressive,” said McGrail.
Throughout the interview process, McNeil-Washington said she was impressed by the level of enthusiasm exhibited by so many members of the Lehigh community.
“Just about everyone I spoke with was so passionate about their work, about Lehigh and about the community we serve,” she said. “During one phase of the interview process alone, I met people from seven departments talking about their work in South Bethlehem. It’s very inspiring to hear about the many ways Lehigh is engaging with the local community, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
McNeil-Washington said she plans on meeting with various groups and individuals to learn more about South Bethlehem, and on continuing her personal community involvement as she acclimates to the Lehigh Valley from the Lancaster area.
“I’m going to be listening to what community leaders and advocates have to say about the issues and their concerns, and looking for ways in which we can work together to continue our progress in South Bethlehem,” she said.
In addition to her work with the United Way, McNeil-Washington has worked as an adviser for University of Phoenix, as executive director for the York County Community against Racism, as an adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University, and in community outreach and multicultural affairs at York College.
She earned her B.A. in public administration from York College and her M.S. in human resource development from Villanova, and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in higher education administration through the University of Phoenix.