Alumna is top public safety official in state

O'Toole Named Leader Of Alumni Association

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

The Boston College Alumni Association and the University have named Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Kathleen M. O'Toole as executive director of the Alumni Association.

A 1976 graduate of Boston College, O'Toole has an extensive and highly successful management background as a member of the Boston Police Department, Metropolitan Police and Massachusetts State Police, as well as in the corporate sector, in higher education, and at a cabinet-level post in the government of Massachusetts.

O'Toole will take over leadership of Boston College's 120,000 member alumni association - the largest of any Catholic university in the world. She will succeed John Wissler, who will retire on June 30 after 31 years of service in the post.

O'Toole's acceptance of the position was met with enthusiasm from every part of the Boston College community.

Thomas J. Martin, the 1997-98 president of the Alumni Association and co-chairman of the Executive Director Search Committee, said, "Kathleen O'Toole possesses the communications, management and technological skills to continue in the fine tradition of leadership shown for so many years by our retiring executive director, John Wissler."

University President William P. Leahy, SJ said, "I am delighted that Kathleen has agreed to be the next executive director of the Boston College Alumni Association. She has significant management experience, familiarity with Boston College and a strong desire to work with our alumni."

According to Mary Lou DeLong, vice president for University Relations, "As the chief administrative officer serving 120,000 alumni around the world, this is an enormously important job. We are delighted and fortunate that an alumna as talented as Kathleen will take the Alumni Association into the next century."

Kathleen O'Toole.

Incoming Alumni Association President John S. Buckley added, "I truly look forward to working with Kathleen as she begins a tenure that I am sure will be beneficial for the University and every Boston College alumnus for many years to come."

"I thank Boston College and the Alumni Association for offering me this extraordinary opportunity," O'Toole said in accepting the position. "Boston College provided me with a wonderful educational foundation. It will be a privilege to return to Boston College to work as a member of its very committed and dynamic management team."

After receiving her bachelor of arts degree in 1976, O'Toole joined the Boston Police Department, where she achieved the grades of detective and sergeant. While a Boston police officer, she earned a degree from the New England School of Law in 1982.

In 1986, she was named superintendent of the Metropolitan Police Department, and as chief executive officer of that department was responsible for all management, planning and control of the organization.

Starting in 1990, she worked in corporate security for Digital Equipment Corp., before returning to public law enforcement in 1992. At that time, she was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts State Police, which had consolidated the Metropolitan force within its ranks. She served as commanding officer of the State Police Division of Special Operations.

On July 5, 1994, O'Toole was named Secretary of Public Safety by then-Gov. William F. Weld. In that post, she has overseen 20 agencies, boards and commissions, a total budget exceeding $1 billion and 10,000 employees. Among the larger agencies reporting to her are the Massachusetts State Police, the Departments of Correction, Parole, Emergency Management and Fire Services, the Massachusetts National Guard, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

This spring she was granted an honorary degree by New England School of Law. In the past year she has also received the New England School of Law's Dean's Award for Career Achievement; the Leading Woman Award of the Patriot Trail Girl Scout Council; and was named "Woman of the Year" by the Boston Police Emerald Society.

O'Toole is vice-chair of the National Leadership Conference of Women Executives in State Government; a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum and the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and past president of the New England Council on Crime and Delinquency.

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