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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Shantay N Bolton

Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration & Chief Administrative Officer

Washington University in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 1835

Industry: Higher Education

Shantay N. Bolton, Ph.D., ODCP, CEC, has more than two decades of experience in organizational development, disruptive human resources and operational change management, complemented by savvy business acumen.

She was Tulane University’s first vice president for human resources and institutional equity, where she led the merging of two departments to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. She was then appointed as the first vice president and deputy chief operating officer at Tulane. She led the COVID-19 return-to-work plan, oversaw daily university operations, established policies that promote an inclusive culture and championed diversity through leadership development.

Bolton eventually left Tulane for Washington University in St. Louis, where she serves as the executive vice chancellor for administration and chief administrative officer and is a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet. She provides strategic counsel to university leadership and serves as the key point person for university operations.

“As I reflect upon my own journey, I can now see how foundational lessons in leadership were being planted in my life before I ever knew what it meant to be a leader,” Bolton said. “Growing up as one of five children to a single mother in the projects of West End St. Louis, my leadership foundation was being influenced by the ascending power of community through teamwork to achieve any given outcome. Thus, by my early career, I had learned and since built upon three attributes of leadership that every leader should know: 1. Belief in the power of people; 2. Ability to nurture mutual trust; 3. Unapologetic courage.”

At Tulane University, Bolton helped launch the Tulane Leadership Institute, focused on higher education business acumen and diversifying the management of the university. Bolton was recognized in 2019 by the New Orleans newsweekly Gambit in its “40 Under 40” list of “overachievers and do-gooders.” She was appointed by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to the New Orleans Workforce Development Board and recently appointed to the Clayton Equity Commission by Mayor Michelle Harris.

Most recently, Bolton was selected to be a part of the prestigious AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education 2022 cohort — a group of select leaders in higher education who aspire to presidencies at four-year public research universities and regional comprehensive institutions. Bolton is frequently invited to speak at community and industry events, including the Commencement Address at Jennings High School, several national conferences and the Olin Business School Executive Education Women in Leadership program.

Her work to establish the first Leadership Institute at Tulane University will continue at Washington University, where she will work to launch WashU Leads, a leadership development initiative.

“What sets her apart is her dynamic and strategic vision and passion for developing and motivating people, particularly staff employees in higher education,” the university said. “Dr. Bolton gives a voice to the voiceless by celebrating the great works of people and providing opportunities for growth and engagement. She is passionate about doing meaningful work in partnership with both Washington University and our region.”

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Did you know?

I like coming up with spontaneous dance moves with my 12-year-old special needs son, cooking new recipes, and to go fishing.


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