SJU Announces New Assistant Vice President

Long-time resident of Wynnefield to head Government and Community Relations

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (July 28, 2009) - Wadell Ridley Jr., who had served as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Services in Philadelphia, has returned to Saint Joseph’s University as the assistant vice president for government and community relations.

Ridley previously held the position at Saint Joseph’s from 2006-08, leaving early in 2008 to join then newly elected Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s team.  As executive director of the city’s premiere anti-poverty agency that provides social services, programs and resources to low-income Philadelphia residents, he was responsible for the management, leadership and supervision of more than 100 employees and an annual budget of $12 million.

"I am thrilled to welcome Wadell back to the University,” said Joan Chrestay, vice president for external affairs.  “I have seen Wadell in action, successfully facilitating negotiations with key community, government and University leaders on complex issues. This strength, combined with his Jesuit background and history of service, makes him a tremendous asset to the external affairs team."

Previously, Ridley served then-Councilman Nutter for 14 years as director of constituent services and community liaison for the 4th District, representing the Councilman at community meetings and zoning hearings.

"Saint Joseph's has demonstrated its dedication to community outreach," Ridley acknowledged. "I hope I can be a bridge between the community and the University to further strengthen this very important relationship."

Ridley and his family have resided in the Wynnefield section of the city, just six blocks from the SJU campus, for the past 35 years. He also attended St. Joseph's Preparatory School, where he serves on the Board of Trustees, and is a founding member of the Prep's African American Alumni Association. He is also an active member of the Wynnefield Residents Association, the Knights of Peter Claver and the Men of Malvern.

He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Lincoln University.

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