Shannon Looney serves as a Director in the Office of Urban Initiatives. Her primary responsibility is to direct both the Frontier Set and the Collaborative Opportunity Grant (COG) initiatives. She is responsible for the management of a core and collaborative network of urban universities undergoing large-scale, transformational institutional change to accelerate the production of credentials of value, especially for low-income, first-generation students. She works closely with project teams to document and share the institutional change process across a variety of interventions with the aim of informing and scaling these practices at other institutions nationally.
Looney previously served as the Assistant Director for Outreach and Research Development with American University’s School of International Service, in which she led the external outreach and marketing of faculty research and drafted proposals for external funding on behalf of the school. Prior to AU, she worked with the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) where she led some of the Institute’s major grant-funded initiatives, such as financial literacy and retention efforts at Minority Serving Institutions and the Walmart Minority Student Success Initiative—a project that provided institutional-capacity building grants to facilitate the development and implementation of faculty-led programs to help first-generation students achieve academic success.