Karen Kennedy

Karen Kennedy

Leadership Team
Associate Vice President of Residential Life


Karen Kennedy has served as Associate Vice President for Residential Life since 2024. In this role, Ms. Kennedy provides strategic leadership of the University’s residential model, one of the most established and distinctive components of the Notre Dame undergraduate experience. She also oversees all established and emerging areas of the Office of Residential Life, including residential communities, facilities, programs and services available to the more than 6,600 undergraduate students who reside on campus. Additionally, Ms. Kennedy stewards the unit’s core mission of providing holistic student development and formation in the context of community rooted in the University’s Catholic, Holy Cross tradition.

Prior to this role, Ms. Kennedy served as senior advisor in the Office of the Executive Vice President and program director for ND Innovates in Institutional Research, Innovation, & Strategy. Within the Division of Student Affairs, she previously held leadership roles as director of student centers, activities and events; director of housing; and senior advisor to the vice president for student affairs. Kennedy also received both the Rev. John Francis “Pop” Farley, C.S.C., Award from the division for her distinguished role in student life, and the Nancy J. Walsh Irish Clover Award from Notre Dame Student Government for her exemplary service to the student body.

Prior to Notre Dame, Ms. Kennedy worked at Boston College for six years, during which time she served as director of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps and helped launch the Lynch Leadership Academy.

Ms. Kennedy earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from Boston College, and her bachelor’s degree in science-business from the University of Notre Dame.