Joan Shields


Sr. Vice President of Leadership and Director of the Fellowship

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Joan Shields is Sr. Vice President of Leadership and Director of the Fellowship. In that capacity, Joan directs the Fellowship program and provides strategic leadership to the Internship and Nonprofit Executive Leadership program. In addition, she supports internal staff development and leadership initiatives within the Foundation. Joan began her career in healthcare as a clinician, educator and hospital administrator. Prior to joining El Pomar in 2020, she was a senior faculty member at a nonprofit global provider of executive education.  She is a certified executive coach and published leadership development author.

Joan grew up in New York, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Duke University. She received her master’s in nursing administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.  Joan has a long history of board service and currently serves on the board of KidPower of Colorado.

“I arrived in Colorado in 2007 from North Carolina and suspect I may never leave. I always thought the ocean was my place, but now in the mountains, appreciate most of all the wide array of natural resources in Colorado and how they give us the space to adventure, explore and push ourselves to try new activities. I have never lived in a place where we have the chance to live so close to our environment and the regard for our state that comes with that. How lucky we are that we get to call this place home.”