Chief of Staff & Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Shelton Walker was appointed to the inaugural role of Chief of Staff and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Bennington College in December of 2021. In this role, Shelton serves as a Cabinet member for creating and operationalizing the systems, process and infrastructure needed for advancing the College’s strategic imperatives. During her time at Bennington, she has served in a critical capacity in co-leading the community-driven strategic planning effort as charged by President Laura Walker, supporting the activities and functions of the Board of Trustees through services as Assistant Secretary to the Board, and serving as interim leader of the Communications & Marketing department, and more recently for the departments of Human Resources, Information Technology, Buildings & Grounds, and the Robert Frost Stone House Museum. Shelton has also led and/or served as a member of critical senior leadership recruitment efforts, including the Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Prior to joining Bennington College, Shelton served the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (UArts) as Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. At UArts, Shelton’s work centered on furthering their mission to advance human creativity by providing integral leadership, strategy, and oversight across a broad range of university priorities and centers. During her tenure, Shelton co-chaired a community-driven strategic planning process, and played a vital role in creating and disseminating critical institutional communications and policies, including the university’s COVID response planning. She oversaw the creation of and recruitment of both a leader and a creative team for the Enrollment Marketing division. Shelton also stewarded a number of university centers and special projects, including the acquisition, relaunch and oversight of the historic Philadelphia Art Alliance, the nation’s oldest multidisciplinary art center, and Lightbox Film Center, an experimental and international film house and cinema. She also oversaw the ongoing work of the university’s long-standing Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, and the creation and launch of the Center for Immersive Media, a research center devoted to the exploration and understanding of new and emerging technologies. Shelton also oversaw the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and related cross-divisional initiatives.
Prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Shelton served UArts as Assistant Vice President for Special Projects, Assistant Provost, and Director of Communications. Prior to joining the University of the Arts, Shelton worked and taught at Montserrat College of Art and Glasgow School of Art, as well as at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Robert Miller Gallery, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Shelton holds a Master of Fine Arts from Glasgow School of Art and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute.