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March 18, 2015

St. Francis Welcomes New Cio Madalyn Hanley '80

SFC Graduate Spent 34 Years at National Grid

"Information Technology is one of those things people don't think about unless it's not working," Madalyn Hanley '80 offers matter-of-factly just a few days after starting her second career as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at her alma mater, St. Francis College.

Hanley, whose husband Ed '80 and son Michael '10 are also St. Francis graduates, has already overseen one major project, and no one but the Information Technology staff knew about it. ESPN2 aired the NEC Championship Final at St. Francis and required major technology support.
"When the basketball game was here, people didn't realize the amount of IT work that went on behind the scene," said Hanley. "We ran additional cables to ensure there were no issues. In addition, my team gave ESPN their own wireless LAN and walled it off from the rest of the college. That way we avoided any technical problems and were confident that our students wouldn't experience any instability during their classes or when using our computer resources."

A Business Management major, Hanley went to work for Brooklyn Union Gas the very next week after graduating from St. Francis. She joined the management training program and requested a job in the computer programming division. She says her strong background in math and logic were a perfect match for a field that was still very new.

Over the next 34 years with Brooklyn Union, then KeySpan and ultimately National Grid, she held a variety of senior management positions, moving from programmer to systems analysis, to team and project lead, and on to managing major corporate application systems, data warehouses, and project management offices. She was also instrumental in leading the Company's IT area through a number of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.

Hanley also spent three years working in the Company's Corporate Strategy group where she developed a new strategic implementation process that managed key strategic projects. Then it was off to England for nearly three years where she served as National Grid's Vice President of the United Kingdom based IT organization. In this role, she oversaw approximately 300 employees and contractors. During this time, she established a business partner working relationship that ultimately became a global working model for IT in the UK and the US.

Over the past few years she also began teaching Leadership and Management courses at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn. When the CIO position opened at St. Francis College she didn't hesitate to return to Brooklyn Heights.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Hanley says that communication and managing expectations will be a crucial part of her job.

"We used to live in a world where technology was scary and people kept their distance. Now it's such a big part of our lives," said Hanley. "People are so tech savvy today but very few people understand that it's a much bigger task to provide a stable, secure environment where technology can grow and thrive."

She says that partnering with students, professors, administrators and the community will go a long way in finding a balance and giving each group what they need to be successful.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in
Brooklyn Heights
, N.Y.Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide
an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City's five boroughs and beyond.

St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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