University of San Diego Names Father William Headley Founding Dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Pea

SAN DIEGO, CA - Father William (Bill) Headley, Counselor to the President of Catholic Relief Services, has been appointed the founding dean of the University of San Diego, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, scheduled to open fall 2007.


“After an exhaustive international search and the help of many respected industry leaders and academics, I am very pleased to announce that Father William Headley has been selected as the inaugural dean of the USD Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies,” announced USD President Mary E. Lyons.  “His appointment to one of the most important new post in recent university history is the culmination of a journey to find the one individual whose background, experience, academic curriculum vitae and passion correspond with the high expectations of our campus, and of our generous donor, the late Mrs. Joan B. Kroc.”


“When Mrs. Kroc bequeathed the university $50 million to establish the School of Peace Studies in 2003, no one could have imagined it would take us years to find our inaugural dean.  But finding the right leader proved to be a formidable challenge.  I am confident that the appointment of Headley brings us one important step closer to realizing our dream of building a globally recognized school to promote social justice and peace building,” said Lyons. 


Since 2000, Father Headley has held leadership positions at Catholic Relief Services (CRS).  In his capacity as Counselor to the President, he helps to oversee CRS’ relief, development, and justice and peace programs, and participates in critical decision-making activities to establish the strategic directions of the 5,000 person agency.


Founded in 1943, CRS operates on five continents and in 99 countries.  The official U.S. Catholic community international relief and development agency, CRS works with a broad network of partners to provide direct assistance to the poor and disadvantaged.  CRS also work to empower people to assist with their own development. 


Internationally recognized as a respected peace builder, practitioner and educator, Headley attended the prominent Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University.  While an associate professor of Sociology and in the Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, he established a graduate program in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies.  He has led important interdisciplinary collaborations with leaders from around the globe. 


Headley earned a Bachelor degree in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Divinity in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary, Norwalk, CT.  After completing his undergraduate studies, he received his ordination into the priesthood at St. Mary’s.  As a student at the University of South Carolina, Headley received a Master of Education, followed by a Master in Sociology degree from Atlanta University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University. 


His vast career includes many academic appointments and nonprofit assignments. Throughout his prolific career, he has served as a lecturer, trainer, consultant and participant in numerous lectures, conferences and symposia throughout North America, Africa, Asia and Europe.   


When asked about his decision to accept the dean post, Father Headley says, “I was most hesitant. CRS is a wonderful expression of humanitarian outreach to the 99 countries in which it serves. My work here has given me an excellent outlet for my life's passion: peace building.  Unbelievably, the opportunity to serve as dean of a new school of Peace Studies will allow me to pursue my other passion: the gratifying work of educating a new generation of enthusiastic future peace builders.”

Before determining the school’s particular area of focus, Headley plans to solicit feedback from members of the university, San Diego and global communities.  “I need to hear more about the dreams and expectations of the USD community. And, I need to let the rich environment of San Diego speak of its needs for peace. In all, it should be an exciting venture.”


About University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The opening of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies will bring the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six.  Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.