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Fall 2014 Commencement Speaker

Photo of Jonathan J. Spanos '82, '01, Ph.D.

Jonathan J. Spanos ’93, ’01, Ph.D.

Dr. Jonathan J. Spanos is an accomplished homeland security public safety information technology director with more than twenty-five years of extensive organizational change and development involvement supporting enterprise LAN, WAN, MPLS, wireless networks and all-hazard preparedness on both the domestic and international levels. He specializes in the continued strategic and enterprise review of post-September 11 preparedness-related activities to understand achievements to date and remaining areas of concern, with a particular emphasis on cost-effectiveness, public private partnerships, accountability, and efficiency.

His experience extends to implementing best practices to improve local, regional, statewide, and nationwide preparedness outcomes. He has been responsible for procuring and managing hundreds of millions of dollars of grant funding streams. In addition, Dr. Spanos has briefed numerous committees and legislatures, including the United States Congress, on homeland security, system interoperability, and Critical Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. He is a chair or member of several high profile committees within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).

Dr. Spanos earned a Ph.D. in workforce education and development from Penn State in 2001. He also holds a master of education in school administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1994) and a bachelor of science in education from Penn State (1993).

He began his Penn State education at the York campus and credits his parents for encouraging him to attend the local campus. Dr. Spanos has a special connection to the campus and acknowledges the faculty and staff for providing him with a positive start to his college career. He went on to the University Park campus to complete his degree, but never forgot the first campus that invested in him.

Dr. Spanos serves on the Penn State York Advisory Board and is an advocate for the student body and campus. A true believer in giving back to the York campus and community, Dr. Spanos recently endowed the J. Spanos Family Trustee Scholarship in the honor of his parents, James and Angie Spanos, as well as sisters, Stacie and Katie, both graduates of Penn State. The J. Spanos Family Trustee Scholarship provides financial support for the best and brightest students to attend Penn State York and participate in the honors program.

His commitment of excellence is based on a firm foundation of ethics, integrity, and constant evaluation. After retiring from The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he has assumed operations of the Spanos family business, The Paddock on Market, a restaurant in York established in 1947, which his family has owned for three generations.

He and his family reside in York, where his daughter Rachael proudly attends Penn State and will graduate in 2015.