De los Santos named new director of Pace Center for Civic Engagement

de los Santos

Kimberly de los Santos

Photo by Eliza Gregory

Kimberly de los Santos, who has led community outreach initiatives for the last 10 years at Arizona State University, has been named the new director of Princeton University's Pace Center for Civic Engagement. Her appointment is effective April 1.

Reporting to Vice President for Campus Life Cynthia Cherrey, de los Santos will serve as the John C. Bogle '51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Director of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. The center supports efforts by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni to identify and address issues of public concern, to be actively engaged citizens, and to practice effective public leadership for the purpose of building stronger communities and societies throughout the world. Some of the center's key activities include coordinating and supporting direct volunteer service, civic action break trips, social entrepreneurship, political action, public service internships and fellowships, and volunteer teaching and tutoring.

"Kimberly brings an expansive perspective to civic engagement and her passion for this work is infectious," Cherrey said. "Her ability to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners will serve us well in building a joint vision for the Pace Center's future."

De los Santos said she plans to engage students, staff and alumni in developing goals for the center. She is interested in expanding civic engagement opportunities for students, she said, and in helping them to create more positive impact with communities.

"I am absolutely pleased to join Princeton. The University's informal motto of 'in the nation's service and in the service of all nations' is inspiring and I know the Pace Center can be a part of fulfilling that mission," de los Santos said. "One of the things that is most exciting about the center is how student-driven it is."

The center hosts and advises more than 20 student groups focused on civic engagement and offers more than 1,800 opportunities a year, through programs such as Community House and the Student Volunteers Council.

Senior Haley White, a former co-chair of the Pace Council for Civic Values, a student group affiliated with the center, was on the search committee that selected de los Santos. White said she had been looking for someone with a creative vision to lead the center and to "inspire Princeton students to think of civic engagement as a quintessential part of their college experience."

"Kimberly is energetic," White said. "When she speaks, you can tell that she is passionate about creating innovations in higher education."
During her tenure at Arizona State University, de los Santos led numerous efforts to expand the opportunities and reach of the university's community outreach programs. Some of her key initiatives included serving as a leader of a $30 million entrepreneurship initiative; creating a Fellowship in University Innovation program to train early-career professionals in institutional and societal change; helping to establish the Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family; and helping to develop a nonprofit organization, University Public Schools, that partners with the university to operate innovative charter schools. De los Santos built relationships and partnerships with local, national and international organizations, and she helped communicate these initiatives by creating publications, websites and videos that expressed the vision for these programs.

She previously served as an instructor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and as a researcher at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. De los Santos earned a bachelor of science in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona, and a master's in public affairs with a concentration in science and technology policy at Columbia.

The Pace Center was founded in 2001. It is named for John Pace Jr., a member of Princeton's Class of 1939, and his wife, Augusta Pace.

De los Santos succeeds Beth Kiyoko (Kiki) Jamieson, who left the University to serve as president for the Fund for New Jersey.