Experience, local roots augment DPS leadership team; New Human Resources Chief, General Counsel, Chief of Staff announced

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy S. Roberts today announced three key appointments to complete the school district’s leadership team.

“The depth of the talent and contributions made by those who grew up in this city and serve it currently, as shown by these leadership appointments, should demonstrate to our students today that they too can be successful in their chosen fields and become a part of our city’s future,” Roberts said.

Vickie Hall will begin duties as Chief Human Resources Officer on April 16. The position had been held by current DPS Chief Labor Relations Officer Gwendolyn A. de Jongh, Esq., on an interim basis.  De Jongh will continue her role as labor counsel and department leader on a full-time basis.

Hall has served as Regional Director of Learning and Development for Comcast Cable Communications in Southfield. She spent 13 years in roles including Vice President for Human Resources for the company, prior to a corporate realignment closing the Midwest District office.  There she provided executive leadership in human resources for the 4 million subscriber, 15,500 employee base telecommunications company situated in the Midwest region of the company.

Hall holds an MBA from UD-Mercy and a BBA from Eastern Michigan University. She is a Trustee at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Society for Human Resource Management, a Board Member of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation and a past recipient of the Most Influential Black Women in Metropolitan Detroit Award. Hall is a graduate of Cass Technical High School.

Jean-Vierre Adams will serve as General Counsel. Adams served in this role for Detroit Public Schools from 2003 – 2007 and most recently held the position of Senior Counsel and Member of the Public Law, Real Estate and Corporations and Securities practice groups at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC. Adams previously served as Vice President Corporate Counsel at Comerica Incorporated and as a Partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn.

Adams holds a J.D. from Wayne State University School of Law where she was a Wade H. McCree, Jr. Scholar, and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan-Flint. She served the Wolverine Bar Association as its Treasurer and currently serves as a Board Member of the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation.

Kevin Smith will become Chief of Staff to Mr. Roberts, effective April 5. Smith currently serves as Managing Partner of the Public Solutions Group, Regional Policy Advisor to United States Congressman Gary C. Peters and Member of the Financial Advisory Team to the Mayor of the City of Highland Park. Previously he was a Principal in the Public Law and Municipal Finance group at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC. He earlier served as Judicial Law Clerk for U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Damon J. Keith.

Smith holds a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School, where he was a member of the Wayne Law Review, and a B.A. in Business-Materials Logistics Management from the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Wolverine Bar Association, is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and was a Crain’s Detroit Business 2009 Forty Under Forty and a 2010 Michigan Front Page Thirty in Thirty honoree. He is a graduate of Renaissance High School and a parent of two current DPS students.

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