Linda Donnels is a senior university administrator and consultant with expertise in organizational management and design, college student development, regulatory compliance and crisis response. Until her retirement in 2010, Linda was the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students for George Washington University, a 20,000 student urban university on two campuses in Washington, DC. In this role, Linda had overall responsibility for the management of a comprehensive student services and housing portfolio with $55 million in operating revenue and was a core member of GW's crisis response team. She served in a number of leadership positions at GW over a period of more than thirty years with a broad range of departments reporting to her.
Linda began her career teaching English to deaf students at Delgado College in one of the first federally funded college programs of its kind. She learned American Sign Language, became interested in post-secondary education of deaf students and moved to Washington, DC to work and study at Gallaudet University. She helped establish programs for deaf students in community colleges across the US and co-authored two textbooks. At George Washington University she initiated the first services for students with disabilities at a time when new laws required all college campuses to become accessible. An early leader in this new field, she co-authored industry standards for disability support services and founding a consortium of thirty colleges and universities that continues its work today. She also wrote the curriculum for sign language and deafness studies at GW and taught some of these first courses.
Over the years, Linda has provided consultation and training on disability access, regulatory issues and adult learners to corporate and education clients. Since her retirement from university administration, she has been developing a practice in career and transitions coaching.
Throughout her career, Linda has been active in national and regional professional organizations. She has served on the Boards of Directors for diverse organizations such as the Association of Higher Education and Disability, the Council on the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, The Sheridan School and the Metropolitan Washington Project with Industry of the Electronic Industries Foundation.
In Santa Fe, she helped establish the Mentor to Market Program of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. She is a Founder/Director of the Women’s International Study Center at the Acequia Madre House in Santa Fe. A native of New Orleans, Linda holds a BS in English Education from Ohio State University and an MA in Counseling from Gallaudet University. She and her husband reside in Santa Fe full time.