Virginia Union University Announces Christopher J. O’Donnell as Director of Public Safety

June 21, 2018

Christopher O’Donnell, a 26-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been named Director of Public Safety of Virginia Union University’s (VUU) Police Department. O’Donnell will provide leadership for and management of VUU’s police functions and operations and oversee the institution’s emergency management and communications.

O’Donnell is among the most award-decorated FBI agents in the history of the Norfolk Field Office, with 13 Public Service Awards from the US Attorney’s Office for investigative and supervisory actions above caseload. He has earned service awards from the City of Newport News Police Chief, Inspector General for the General Services Administration, Director of the FBI, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Norfolk Field Office. O’Donnell has significant experience in collaborative work with local, state police and federal agencies.

O’Donnell received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mary Washington in 1987, his Juris Doctor from University of Virginia School of Law in 1990, and his Master of Public Safety and Community Leadership from George Washington University in 2012. He has been admitted to both Virginia and Maryland Bars.

"O’Donnell brings strong experience in community collaboration and emergency response to VUU," says Dr. Allia L. Carter, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. "We had a diverse, broadly experienced and talented group of candidates from across the U.S., and the search committee had a very hard job. VUU has a strong, dedicated police force, and O’Donnell’s background and experience will make it even stronger."

Christopher O'Donnell’s responsibilities will include community engagement and outreach; emergency planning and management; threat assessment and response; and Clery Act compliance, among standard chief operating responsibilities of a police department.