Announcing the New Dean of the School of Continuing Studies

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

It is with great pleasure that I announce Kelly Otter, Ph.D., as Dean of Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.

Dr. Otter brings a wealth of experience in academic program development and oversight, as well as in technology-enhanced and non-traditional learning environments. From 2006-2012, she served as Associate Dean of the College of General Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she administered traditional and professionally-oriented undergraduate programs and graduate certificates. During her tenure at Pitt, she established the online learning platform, PittOnline, and the University’s Office of Veterans’ Services.

She comes to Georgetown from Northeastern University, where she was responsible for developing professional programs at the graduate level for regional, national, and international delivery as Associate Dean for Graduate Academic and Faculty Affairs for the College of Professional Studies. In that role, Dr. Otter led the design and implementation of new graduate degrees in Food & Food Industry Regulations and Homeland Security, as well as pioneering collaborations with companies and educational institutions across the globe.

Dr. Otter holds a BA in communications from the University of Michigan; an MA in radio, TV, and film from Wayne State University; and a PhD in arts and humanities education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Otter to our community when she begins her service on July 1.

Dr. Otter will lead SCS into its next era, building on the accomplishments of the school to design and launch innovative educational programs that advance the professional careers of its students. The University will ask SCS to experiment with models of delivery, using advanced teaching and learning technologies, and innovative pedagogy to fulfill Georgetown’s mission in new ways.

I wish to express my deepest appreciation to Walter Rankin, Ph.D., whose vision and leadership have enabled the SCS to grow in extraordinary ways. Dr. Rankin provided outstanding leadership during his two years as Interim Dean of the SCS, and we are deeply grateful for his willingness to serve as we conducted a nationwide search for new leadership. Walter played an instrumental role in the SCS’s many recent accomplishments, including moving to a new, state-of-the-art space in downtown Washington and inaugurating degree programs in Emergency and Disaster Management, Hospitality Management and Urban and Regional Planning.

I also wish to offer my gratitude to the dedicated committee of colleagues and Chair Deborah Philips, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, who led our search efforts.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Otter to Georgetown. In the new school year ahead, we look forward to finding ways for the community to formally welcome her to our University. We very much look forward to all that SCS will achieve under Dr. Otter’s leadership at this moment of exceptional promise.

You all have my very best wishes for a wonderful summer ahead. 


John J. DeGioia