For the University of Notre Dame, safety considerations extend far beyond the campus footprint in northern Indiana. As a global university, Notre Dame must be concerned about the safety and security of students, faculty and staff at its Global Gateways and Centers and elsewhere.
That’s why, in 2018, the University hired Jaime Signoracci. Her career in global security operations and travel risk management across an array of industries made her the perfect candidate for an international risk management position at Notre Dame International (NDI).
As associate director of international travel and safety, Signoracci leads the charge in providing strategic and operational leadership on matters of health, safety and security overseas for faculty, staff and students within the University’s global networks.
“Notre Dame International places the highest priority on safety in our international programs,” Signoracci says.
With NDI colleague Judy Hutchinson, the student engagement program director, Signoracci works closely with the Office of Student Affairs to make sure undergraduate students and other Notre Dame travelers are prepared for medical and mental health issues and can connect to resources while they’re traveling abroad.
Meanwhile, Signoracci along with Keri Kei Shibata, chief of the Notre Dame Police Department and executive director of emergency management, and Tracy Skibins, senior director of emergency management, carry out safety and security assessment trips on behalf of Notre Dame.
For example, in October the trio visited the University of Notre Dame at Tantur in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Old City to experience where students, faculty and staff spend their time on study abroad programs and research. They also visited the Brigham Young University (BYU) Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies campus, met with the U.S. Embassy’s regional security officer and other embassy staff and visited Tel Aviv to experience the city and meet with local security representatives.
“This trip reaffirms the value of conducting periodic site visits and risk assessments to review the health and safety aspects of international education. There’s no substitute for meeting with local contacts face to face,” she says.
As Notre Dame continues to expand its international reach through diverse study abroad programs and research in challenging and ever-changing environments, Signoracci’s expertise in international risk management is critical. And she is happy to have colleagues on the University’s emergency management team to work alongside to understand and mitigate security threats, as well as manage risks proactively in emergency situations.
“The international mission of the University mandates a robust travel risk management program that strengthens our duty of care, something that I’ve been building on since I started at Notre Dame,” she says.
Signoracci continues to build up the University’s international preparedness, awareness, and readiness in the pursuit of better preparing the University community to ensure safe continuity of travel. As of this spring, she will serve a two-year term as vice chairperson of the Overseas Security Advisory Council Academia Working Group steering committee under the U.S. Department of State.
Notre Dame International provides training and preparation to better understand travel safety and security best practices for Notre Dame-affiliated travel and beyond. All students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to register their travel at ndi-tr.nd.edu.