Lynda S. O’Connell, CAE

Executive Director
Direct line: 804.644.0601
Mobile: 804.840.0725

Lynda O’Connell has served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation since 1999. In that time, Lynda has transformed VCPI from a fledgling grant program into a sustainable nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization, providing training and other services to public safety agencies and the communities they serve nationwide. Under Lynda’s leadership, VCPI has received the Governor’s Excellence in Community Safety Award, trained more than 45,000 law enforcement officers and other public safety officials, and developed dozens of training programs in response to critical issues facing public safety across the United States. She strategically leads VCPI’s expansion of services beyond providing training to include assisting law enforcement agencies in a variety of critical response efforts, addressing community engagement needs, and coordinating and implementing public safety services such as court security assessments, automated victim notification, enhancements to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry, and much more. Lynda has more than two decades of experience in public safety, including service as a county deputy (patrol), national instructor and facilitator, and as a participant in task force and committee activities, addressing such issues as body worn cameras, methamphetamines, youth gun violence, court security, and immigration. She also worked as a clinical program manager for a pharmaceutical research company for several years, gaining skills in program management, administration, and business development. Lynda earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in criminal justice, from Radford University and a Master’s degree in public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Lynda holds a Master’s certificate in business management from Tulane University and is a Certified Association Executive with the American Society of Association Executives.