Duquesne President Ken Gormley named Pamela W. Connelly as the University's next senior vice president for legal affairs and general counsel. Connelly will succeed Madelyn Reilly, who retires in May 2021 after 12 years in the University's legal affairs division.
Connelly is a shareholder at the law firm Strassburger McKenna Gutnick and Gefsky in Pittsburgh, where she has practiced since January 2020. In her role she specializes in higher education and employment litigation. Prior to her position at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick and Gefsky, Connelly served as an executive administrator and in-house counsel at the University of Pittsburgh for 18 years.
"I am thrilled to name Pam Connelly to serve in this critical position on Duquesne's leadership team," says Duquesne University President Ken Gormley. "The depth of her experience in private legal practice, her connections to the regional community, and her extensive experience in the higher education domain at the University of Pittsburgh suggest she will continue the excellent work of her retiring predecessor, Madelyn Reilly. She also will complement our existing leadership team perfectly. Further, her experience as a chief diversity officer will be helpful at a time when we have committed ourselves to a University-wide action plan for diversity, equity and inclusion at Duquesne."
From 2015 until 2020, Connelly served as the University of Pittsburgh's first vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. In that role, Connelly designed and implemented the university's Title IX compliance program, developed protocols on handling free speech conflicts, shaped plans for related to Affirmative Action and Civil Rights practices, and navigated shared governance processes successfully in the pursuit of updating and adding necessary policies related to inclusivity at the university.
Prior to her appointment as vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, Connelly was associate general counsel at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work covered a wide range of legal matters, including civil rights disputes, athletics cases, contract breaches and disputes, real estate, and research fraud claims. Connelly's practice deeply connected her with the legal community in the Pittsburgh region.
"I have long admired Duquesne and its profound impact on its students, the community, and the world beyond," Connelly says. "Duquesne's remarkable leadership team, led by President Gormley, has articulated a compelling vision for the future. I am honored to be named to this role and look forward to contributing to Duquesne's continued momentum."
Connelly currently teaches "Higher Education and the Law" at the University of Pittsburgh.
Connelly is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and was a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys from 2002 to 2020. She presently is a member of the board of the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation and a member of the board of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures. Connelly holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the Pennsylvania State University and earned her juris doctor from the University of Pittsburgh.
Connelly lives in Mt. Lebanon and is the parent of two children.