Rutgers University – Newark has announced that Shantè Palmer will become its next Vice Chancellor for Foreign and Government Relations effective June 7, 2021. A veteran public affairs manager and community advocate, Palmer will also work with Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers executives as faculty, staff and students to develop, implement and strengthen partnerships with officials, community organizations and residents, particularly collective action initiatives that reflect the university’s role as an anchor institution. She will succeed Marcia Wilson Brown, whose resignation was announced by Cantor in April 2021.
“We are very pleased to welcome Shantè to our team in this key role,” said Cantor. “She brings an exceptional combination of public and private sector experience that enables her to work closely with our city, county and state partners. The strong working relationships that Shantè has already established with many of our partners over the course of her career will enable her to start together when it comes to topics such as expanding educational pathways and achieving fair growth and promotion promoting racial justice and racial empowerment neighborhoods. “
For the past decade and a half, Palmer has established himself as one of the most effective relationship builders in New Jersey to serve the common good. After half a dozen years with the National Labor Relations Board at the beginning of her career, she worked for US Senators from New Jersey, from the late Frank R. Lautenberg to Jeff Chiesa and Cory Booker, working on project development in areas of housing and Education to faith-based initiatives and economic development. She then became Senior Vice President, Business Development at Capital Impact Group, where she focused on corporate responsibility programs and community engagement. For the past three years she was the director of government relations at Montclair State University, where she strategically directed the university’s relationships with local, state and federal governments. Widely known for her professionalism and impact, she has earned a spot on Senator Loretta Weinberg’s well-known list of New Jersey’s powerful women since 2019.
In her role at Rutgers-Newark, Palmer will serve as a key strategic and administrative officer to the institution and advisor to the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor, engaging community leaders and government officials at all levels on behalf of the university as she leads the pursuit of legislative priorities. In doing so, she will seek to build and strengthen relationships to further develop the university’s anchor institutions agenda more fully and purposefully, and will work with partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to raise the universities for intellectual, capital and human resources win affecting collective public problem solving in Newark and beyond.
Palmer is a graduate of Essex County College and Montclair State University and already knows Rutgers-Newark very well. She obtained her Executive Masters in Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) and was also a project collaborator at the Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity.
“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve my alma mater,” said Palmer. “I acknowledge the excellent curriculum, faculty and programs at SPAA for starting my exciting and challenging tenure in government, private business and academic administration.”
Palmer is now keen to use her expertise to advance the collective agenda of the university and the community. “The city of Newark and Essex County 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 most importantly, learn. The enormous potential of the university to bring positive benefit to the world with its extraordinary diversity and highly effective research is what makes it so special and I want generations after me to share this feeling. Today I am proud to make Rutgers University – Newark my home again, and hopefully for many years to come. “