• Swearer Center Staff
Betsy Shimberg Swearer Center

Betsy Shimberg

Interim Director, Swearer Center
Associate Dean of the College
Director, Student Development
Current community engagement: Board member City Year Providence, Board member Generation Citizen RI, Chess Coach William D’Abate Elementary School, member of the PPSD Community Design Team

Joined Swearer Center Staff in 


Office Hours: Wednesdays, 12 to 2 p.m. and Fridays, 1 to 2 p.m. Schedule virtual office hours

Where is home to you? Cleveland, Ohio

B.A. History 1990, Wellesley College
M.P.A. Social Welfare Policy 1997, Columbia University

Betsy Shimberg is the Interim Director of the Swearer Center for Public Service and an Associate Dean of the College at Brown University. In her previous role as the Director of Student Development at the Swearer Center, she developed and managed the Swearer Center’s co-curricular initiatives to prepare Brown students for effective community engagement, along with providing students with an advising support system promoting rigorous multidisciplinary study and optimizing intellectual opportunities and progress toward an undergraduate degree. Betsy also managed programs that place Brown students into service opportunities and worked with a team to develop the TRI-Lab, a Brown initiative that leveraged students, faculty and community practitioners to develop potential solutions to complex social issues.

Prior to joining the Swearer Center, Betsy was a policy researcher with RI KIDS COUNT and an independent consultant. She served as the Director of Policy and Planning for Mercer Street Friends, a comprehensive social services non-profit organization in Trenton, New Jersey. In addition, she worked with several organizations in New York City in the fields of advocacy, research, development and public relations.

Betsy currently serves as a member of a Community Design Team convened by the Rhode Island Department of Education to support the Providence Public School District. From 2008-2013, Betsy served as a member of the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition to her term on the Regents, Betsy has served on or led multiple non-profit boards including Youth in Action, City Year, the Paul Cuffee Charter School and Generation Citizen, and she has been an active member of the parent associations of her children’s schools. 

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Betsy graduated from Wellesley College in 1990. She earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Betsy lives in Providence with her husband and two children. 

"There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about. Ask: 'What’s possible?' not 'What’s wrong?' Keep asking. Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your dreams. Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters." – Margaret Wheatley