In her second year as the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Johns Hopkins is Alanna Shanahan, who joined the Blue Jay staff on July 18, 2016 after a highly-successful tenure as a senior administrator at the University of Pennsylvania. She is just the fourth person since 1950 to serve in this role at Johns Hopkins.
At Johns Hopkins, Shanahan oversees a 24-sport athletic program that ranks among the most successful in the nation. In her first year, Johns Hopkins placed fifth in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, 13 teams won conference championships and 15 teams were represented in NCAA Championship competition. In addition, a school-record 48 Johns Hopkins student-athletes earned All-America honors, eight were selected as CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and two were awarded prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.
Named one of Baltimore’s 25 Women to Watch by the Baltimore Sun, Shanahan’s first-year initiatives at Johns Hopkins included striking a comprehensive partnership with Under Armour to make the Baltimore-based company the official uniform, apparel and equipment supplier for all Blue Jay teams and the addition of a Director of Student-Athlete Success, an endowed position focused on academic and career development for Johns Hopkins’ nearly 700 student-athletes. She has also placed increased emphasis on campus-wide programming in the area of health and wellness.
At Penn, Shanahan served as the Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman’s Administrator (SWA) from 2012-16 and also served as the Executive Director of the world-renowned Penn Relays from 2011-16. She was a member of Penn’s senior administrative team in the University’s Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) since 1999, progressively gaining increased responsibility during her tenure.
As the Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA at Penn, Shanahan managed a highly-successful 33-sport intercollegiate athletics program with direct oversight of five of Penn’s athletic programs (football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse). In addition, she managed four senior-level athletic administrators who directed the Quakers’ 28 other varsity teams.
Shanahan has extensive experience in all facets of athletic administration, including budgeting, recruiting, compliance, academic services, admissions and financial aid, facilities and operations, development, alumni relations, marketing and communications.
She played a key role in Penn’s “Making History” campaign that raised $124 million for athletics and recreation. In addition to her athletics-related responsibilities, Shanahan was also a member of the University’s Administrative and Governance Review Working Group and the Student Experiences and Perceptions Working Group and was also appointed to the University’s Title IX Compliance Committee.
A 1996 Penn graduate with a degree in anthropology, Shanahan played lacrosse for the Quakers and served as a team captain as a senior, when she was also selected as the team’s most valuable player. She later served as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at her alma mater from 1997-99 and as the interim head coach during the 1999 season.
She holds a Master of Science degree from Penn in education (Higher Education Administration Division) and a doctoral degree from the University’s Graduate School of Education (Higher Education Management Division).
Shanahan and her husband, Kevin, reside in Baltimore with their sons, Frank (9) and Wren (8).