ODU hires associate VP for corporate partnerships
Sarah Jane Kirkland is Civic Leadership Institute's president, CEO
Civic Leadership Institute President and CEO Sarah Jane Kirkland will become Old Dominion University’s associate vice president for corporate partnerships on March 1, 2023, the Norfolk university announced Thursday.
“Sarah Jane is well-known and highly respected in Hampton Roads, especially among business and industry leaders. For many years, she has been fully dedicated to creating connections and producing results that both benefit and transform our region as part of her exemplary efforts with the Civic Leadership Institute,” ODU President Brian O. Hemphill said in a statement.
Kirkland will collaborate with the president’s office and ODU’s office of research, focusing on forming relationships with senior executives at corporations and nonprofits to develop partnership opportunities, such as internships and employment placements, corporate research and development grants and workforce development initiatives. Partnerships could also include executives teaching part-time and businesses and the university co-developing certificate program curricula.
She will also serve as ODU’s point of contact for help attracting new businesses to Hampton Roads and retaining current companies. Kirkland will design and oversee a university-wide partnership council to coordinate corporate account management and help develop proposals.
Kirkland has been with the Norfolk-based Civic Leadership Institute, which aims to connect executive leaders to improve life in Hampton Roads, since 2003. The institute runs an eight-month executive program, recognizes philanthropic leaders with its Darden Awards and hosts a scholars program for ODU and Tidewater Community College students.
Kirkland has served as president and CEO since 2019. From 2016 to 2019, she was its chief operating officer, and from 2013 to 2016, she served as director of alumni engagement. Kirkland was the institute’s program manager from 2003 to 2005.
“As president and CEO of the region’s premier leadership organization, the Civic Leadership Institute, I have been privileged to develop partnerships across seemingly disparate facets of our community,” Kirkland said in a statement. “Due to this work, I have been uniquely positioned to bring leaders together with the common goal of affecting real change in Hampton Roads. I am honored to have an opportunity to continue this great work at Old Dominion University.”
Prior to joining the Civic Leadership Institute, Kirkland was a business development director with Carnival Cruise Line for nearly 10 years.
Kirkland has served on numerous boards and committees in Hampton Roads, including RVA757 Connects, YMCA of South Hampton Roads and the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Advisory Panel.
Eric Weisel, executive director of ODU’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center and associate vice president for applied research, chaired the search.